Yesterday a consignment of jars arrived from a new supplier. I have managed I think to get the best deal, but I have had to buy quite a few. What I was pleased with is that these are jars made in England, rather than coming from Italy or other parts of the continent. They are the pretty hexagonal shape which nestle closely in the cupboard.
Hubby went all quiet whilst we had our afternoon tiffin yesterday, and then we had a brain storm.......we evaluated my passions, and the need to express these, and we considered all the other aspects of my project. From it all, I arrived at a wonderful position.....
I make as many preserves as I would like
Keep the six friends who have already showed interest in my venture in spare preserves, at cost price. In addition offer them 4 oz jars of my very special preserves free as tasters.
Continue to donate preserves for local charity sales and fund raising etc
Give the rest away to family and for swaps with 'preserve' buddies, and to the many friends who ply me with their surpluses which would otherwise go to waste.
I even have friends who drop off blackberries, and other wild fruit etc when they have had a day out walking...they enjoy foraging, but then they have no time to deal with their fruit.
Preserving is my hobby and a leisure interest....
Once I had a large allotment and that nearly became too much for me, not allowing me sufficient time to persue other intersts and activities, a little like Mrs Mace Preserves was becoming.
I used to have a wonderful allotment, and was always fighting to cope with the surpluses each summer, giving loads away. At the time of the most surpluses, and with all the work, it was more difficult to enjoy the preserving interest.
I had a lovely man on the next allotment who helped me with my digging. I have a bad back, he had bad fingers, so together we managed all the tasks. After Ray had dug my plot, I would use the deep bed method, using loads of compost, and found that swinging my mattock to till the earth, a far kinder way to treat the soil. I would do the delicate picking for him, the tying up, the fine hand weeding etc. When I left, Ray asked for my mattock!
When we moved I was sad to give up the allotment. I had been offered a very good plot close by soon after we moved, but I don't regret that I turned it down at all, as this leaves me so much time to enjoy other pursuits. I was somewhat relieved, and now love going to the local market, farmers' markets etc, and just getting what we need. There are a couple of friends with lovely gardens here, and enjoy the fellowship of working together there.