As we drive around the countryside be on the lookout for wild fruit trees such as apple trees…in season blackberries are everywhere…gather and freeze blackberries and cook and freeze apples for pies or sauces. The sealable bag now is much easier than bottling and the food is just as nice frozen.
Crabapple and feijoas are a great base for making jam jellies, but now we have sugar specially fortified with setting agents so combine the apples and berries and make beautiful jellies.
We all need to be aware there is a lot of free produce around our countryside that will feed and nourish the family all it requires is a little time to collect so become a forager and save money in the process.
In the warmer areas citrus fruit is in abundance and if you see a tree laden with fruit just ask the owner if you can have some or even offer to buy. Most kiwis if you take the time to ask will offer it to you for free…so take advantage of their generosity and make lemon curd, cordials and just plain fruit juice. It rankles me when I see fruit rotting on the ground and no one is utulising that free food. So just look around and you will be amazed at what you can find when you take the time.
The freezer is a must but if you do have a good supple of preserving jars then by all means use them…
I have got my children interested in foraging now and growing their own herbs and making their own pasts sauces…it is saving them lots of money….
Vegetable gardens are also a must and you do not need a great area to grow enough potatoes to keep you for a year….They can be stored in rua pits by digging a hole about 8ft in diameter and 24 inches deep…line it with hay or bracken fern. place your potatoes on top , cover with more bracken then cover again with the removed soil…this method can be used for any root vegetable like carrots etc…..just scoop out a little hole to access the vegetables when needed remove what you need then recover the opening.