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?


  1. I heart my hubbys relish that is an absolutely bargin too by the way. we've resorted to saving jars after looking for ages to find good jars but not wanting to pay a fortune.

  2. I have not yet ventured into the world of preserving apart from jam and am looking forward to the day when I can stock our pantry with such goodness :)
    On a trip to Albany earlier this year we came upon a vintage warehouse that had shelves full of the fowlers jars, I bought a box full for a friend but may need to go back to get a supply for myself.
    I think it's a credit to you and your hubby that you have influenced friends in such a positive way :)

  3. Oh honey.... You are living the good life!!! This is what it's all about!!! I knew your garden was amazing, but seeing it in real life has inspired me, and just love how passionate you are about growing your own, preserving and living off your own peice of land. I love it!!! I'm going to start planning my own little urban garden!!! B xx

  4. Oh wow, those jars look awesome!!! I am on the hunt for jars, my stash is pretty low. I even went out and BOUGHT salsa so I could have some more jars. How crazy is that?!

  5. I so wish I lived next door to you Kymmie - besides getting to spend time with lovely you I would be knocking on that door to see if you could share some of your delicious pasta sauces and chutneys with me!!
    I am so envious of all of that goodness!

  6. I wish I had a garden Kymmie.

  7. How exciting! I love the look of your garden... it's perfect.
    I grow a lot of herbs, limes and strawberries but I want to start to grow some vegetables.
    I want to get one of those big apple crates and fill it with lovely home grown produce. The taste, the feeling of accomplishment - nothing like it. xx

  8. Oh i love this, how inspirational. We are just growing herbs again, the seasons have been very funny here in Canberra, until i have a green house, i'm a little stuck in our Army rental house. It's my dream to grow at least 90% of what we eat, drink & meat too, when we move onto the farm, yay. Many mouths to feed, it's healthier, cheaper & happier, love Posie

  9. Hi Kym

    I love that you've made all these preserves, I'd like to do that...especially since I found a significantly large piece of corrugated card board in a store bought tomato based sauce!

    I'm back at home, I'll drop you a line. x

  10. it certainly is rewarding to see the things in your garden grow and when you actually get to eat them! we have a small garden, but we've enjoyed lettuce, carrots, potatoes (which we have no idea how those got these!), pineapples, collared greensm tomatoes..
    sounds like you guys have a great thing going on here!


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  12. It just looks like pickles in the jar, an Indian dish one of my friend gave me to taste, a spicy one.


Thank you for your thoughtful and positive words and taking the time to comment. Love Kymmie. xx