"I'll give you this, if you give me that.."

The first week with the kids back at school has flown by and suddenly the weekend is nearly over too! The blackberries are still coming, although I will probably have a rest from picking them for about a week to let some more ripen. The last couple of nights we have had them for dessert, in an apple and blackberry shortcake, and an apple and blackberry crumble. Although I had the weirdest thing happen with my fowlers vacola jars of apples - the liquid I used to top up the jars has all evaporated! I was hugely surprised when I pulled a jar out to make last night's dessert and discovered this. The lids are still curved inwards, indicating a good seal, and I definately can't get the lids off using just my hands, so it has me puzzled. I'm still a newby when it comes to those fiddly jars with the rubber bands and clips, maybe I stretched the bands too much when bottling....? hmmm..Anyhow, it was lucky that I had some apples in jars with screw top lids, so I used those instead, which still looked exactly the same as the day I bottled them, (about 8 weeks ago). How frustrating though!

The dried out apples in the fowlers vacola jars

The way the apples looked when they were bottled, lots of liquid

Yesterday, a neighbouring town had their monthly food swap. The idea is that you take along any excess garden produce you have - fruit, vegies, preserves, and also any seedlings, seeds, tools, etc..and trade with other people, with what they have brought along. It was really busy yesterday as they also had a Sustainable Living festival on at the same time, so, LOTS of people and LOTS of produce being traded. There wasn't much from my garden for me to take yesterday - we are keeping on top of things at the moment, except perhaps the zucchinis but everyone seems to have those, so didn't bother taking any of them! I ended up trading the following:

about 1kg blackberries and 2 bars of soap for -a huge bag of perennial rocket (delicious, very peppery, we had it in a salad last night), one dozen guinnea fowl eggs (haven't tried them yet - apparently they taste stronger than hen eggs) and a HUGE bunch of thick, long rhubarb that barely fits in the crisper part of the fridge.

2 bars of soap for - a bunch of bay leaves and a leek

1 bar of soap for - the CUTEST nugget pumpkin!

and another bar of soap for - some lettuce and kale seeds, both of which we don't have growing at the moment.

The soaps I took along were a mixture of cocoa & cinnamon, kaffir lime & coconut cream, and tea-tree oil, honey & olive oil. I was really pleased with my morning's trade, and it didn't take long at all, I was there and back in under 35 minutes!

Next time I hope to be more organised and get things ready the night before. I also took along some calendula seedlings, but no one seemed to be interested in those. It's such a lot of fun bartering produce, like going shopping without having to pay the bill at the end!

Food swap nugget pumpkin


  1. I am inspired to read all this hands on stuff.
    Thank you for your mentorship.
    Hugz and Love,
    Starshine Girl


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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