This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

It has been a lovely day today and lots of work has been done in the back garden. We have the aching backs to prove it! And, I have a whole lineful of DRY washing. I just love the smell of towels and sheets that have been dried outside.

I also cut a patch of long grass with shears and laid it to dry on the garden bench. We have heavy rain forecast for tonight so I have filled my old (and very broken) laundry basket with it and put it in the shed. It will get put out to dry further when the suns comes out again. We have sun forecast for Monday onwards. My husband smiles at this but even a couple of bags of our own hay for the rabbit for the winter is a tiny step further towards self sufficiency. And that gives me a little warm glow.

I was reading about bottling on One of the ladies there reuses jars that have been used for preserves and have one of those buttons in the lid. She bottles her tomatoes for the winter in these jars. I've also read a book on microwave bottling that reuses this type of jar. And a recipe book from the 1970s too. American websites seem to give instructions for bottling just about anything if you have a pressure canner. These seem to be a step up from our pressure cookers and just don't seem to be available here. And in Britain we don't seem to advocate bottling anything other than fruit in case of poisoning people with botulism. (Have I remembered the correct name there???)

I'm interested in bottling but it seems a very expensive method of preserving if you have to keep buying special lids for the Kilner jars - which is why this method of bottling by reusing jars with lid buttons caught my eye. Once bottled, the food keeps for a long time with no electricity involved. Freezing the food does seem simpler but then you have to pay for all that electricity and it does have limited life when it is in good condition (12 months or so for fruit). I'd really like to talk to someone in Britain who already preserves food by bottling and ask them if they think it is cost effective. In rural areas where there may be interruptions to the power supply in poor weather, having food bottled rather than frozen sounds jolly useful.

See post 7 on this thread:


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