Wednesday, April 11, 2012


This self-sufficiency thing is doing us well at our place. We've been preserving, bottling and enjoying our home-grown produce.

Pasta sauce, tomato sauce, tomato chutney, spicy chutney, plain tomatoes, beetroot... it's all happening here on our virtual River Cottage.

In fact, while we were away this last weekend, we had some friends come and house-sit. They've just moved to Mildura from North New South Wales, and were looking for a short break in Melbourne. Although they're old friends, they've not been to our home before. They loved it, and fell in love with our garden. In fact, just days after returning to their new home town, they called this morning to say that they were so inspired, they've purchased a weatherboard home on half an acre so they can plant and create their own vegetable garden!

How cool is that?

And while they were house-sitting, we were a few hours up the road at Rochester. We popped into one of their second hand shops, and my husband came out with not one box, but two boxes of Fowlers preserving jars.

He's still smiling because around 35 jars cost him just $25. Now, if you're in the preserving business, or just like those bottles, you will know that to buy them second hand, they are around $10 each. They're actually cheaper to purchase new.

But the man who owned this second hand store just wanted to get rid of them, obviously not knowing their value. This could only happen in a small Victorian town!

So, now we need to fill those babies with organic home-grown goodness, and I know just the place...

Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you preserve and use Fowler bottles?