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preserving today?
Thu 24-Jul-14
4:11 pm
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UK.Terri
Broadstairs, KENT UK

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I've used frozen strawberries before and never had a problem as long as I added some pectin to it.

Regarding sample tasting, whenever I make a batch of whatever, I now always make sure I pot up a small sample.  I've found that the items that I don't have a sample for, don't sell very well.  This is very important for me as I tend to make unusual flavors so people want to taste before they buy.

I have a plastic spoon in each pot and have broken crackers along side for people to use.  We have had situations where some people (adults and children) have put the spoon directly in their mouth. dohLuckily, I always have extra spoons with me and I've caught it before they put the spoon back in the pot! (I would like to post a picture, but it's asking me for a source??) 

Mauramac ~ I've been to other farmer's markets and food festivals and they all have pots open with spoons in them, so don't know what the EH lady's problem was.  I try to do unusual names too.  I have one called Jumbleberry Jam and it's a mix of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.  I've just recently made a Ratatouille Chutney and I've put a small rat on the label!  The customers loved it!

Love the idea of 'Merry Marmalade' as I do an Orange Whiskey Marmalade and also an Orange Brandy.  This week I've made a Chili Jam, which I have aptly labeled as 'Butt Burning Chili Jam' devilYesterday I made quite a big batch (18 jars) of Gooseberry Jam.

For getting the weight on the jars, I put the empty jar on the scale with the funnel and set the tare, then fill up the jar and I know exactly what I've put in there without having to do any math!  I have various sized jars so make a grid and write down the weight of each and set them down according to the grid.

When in doubt, add more wine.

Thu 24-Jul-14
5:29 pm
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OlgaO
Suffolk

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Hahaha, the Butt Burner is a work of genius!!! Made me laugh out loud! 

I believe Morrisons sell very, very cheap plastic cutlery- perhaps a bag of teaspoons can be a hygienic (if not green) solution to taster issue if no running water is available...

Thu 24-Jul-14
5:43 pm
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OlgaO
Suffolk

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In case anyone is looking for a canner- I just stumbled upon this one in clearance sale:

http://www.coopersofstortford.co.uk/src/4XG11/coop.....dst09585i/

 

If only I had space.....

Thu 24-Jul-14
6:52 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Butt Burner - brilliant!

Think EH people vary from Council to Council but she seemed to think that any foodstuff open with members of the public gathered around could become contaminated by airborne pathogens - especially people coughing or sneezing around it. I have always found tasters to be a great help in sales, as like you, we do try to make unusual combinations which you don't get in the shops. I don't bother with the weight in the jars as I only use 8oz and 12 oz jars and no one has ever asked me what the weight might be. As an exercise though I weighed the jars empty and full and they all varied from 388gms up to 405 grams. The jars contained plum jam so I guess the difference was down to more plums in some of the jars, however I did notice that even empty there was a few grams difference what_the_heck

Must admit I've never frozen strawberries but after being inundated with wild plums (bullaces) for the past week or so I have tried 2 options. I've frozen them whole but after being stoned and also frozen them cooked slightly to see if there is any difference and what works best. Yesterday and today I have been ploughing through 12kgs of redcurrants doh I've laid them out on trays and frozen them for a couple of hours on fast freeze then took them out of freezer and took them off strings into plastic freezer bags. That way they don't get squished and they fall off the strings really easily. Then bagged up in 500gms batches and back in freezer. Luckily I have hubby helping me or I would be screaming by now yell

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Thu 24-Jul-14
6:55 pm
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Ambersparkle

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Love the name of your Chilli Chutney, don't think I would be brave enough to eat it though.steam

Tue 29-Jul-14
11:08 am
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UK.Terri
Broadstairs, KENT UK

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Good Day Campers! wave

Yesterday I made a batch of what I call Jumbleberry Jam; a mix of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.  It has a gorgeous color and it is becoming one of my best sellers!  

I think today I will work on Greengage Jam.  I've got a market on Sunday in Ramsgate, so am trying to build up my stock again from two weeks ago at the last market.  I've got just over 200 jars of stock and will be VERY busy after Sunday.  There is a 3-day event over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August (The Ramsgate Arts Summer Squall).  I will be selling at two of the days so will really need to make sure I have enough of everything as they get a good turnout for this event.  I usually do quite well and this is the first year that I'm doing two days instead of just the one. eeek

Well, I'd better get into the kitchen....

Terri rose

When in doubt, add more wine.

Tue 29-Jul-14
3:34 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Hi Terri, you sound busy busy busy.

Hope you have a great time in Ramsgate and sell loads. I love it all around that area.

Can I be cheeky and ask what size jars you use and what sort of prices do you charge.

We sell all of our preserves to raise money for a couple of charities we support and I am forever worrying about the costs etc so would be really interesting to know what people are happy to pay for homemade preserves in different areas.

Happy Jamming wave

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 30-Jul-14
2:40 pm
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UK.Terri
Broadstairs, KENT UK

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Hi Maura,

I use all different sized jars.  I mainly depend on donations of jars from people so I get a lovely selection of different sizes/weights and shapes!  Unfortunately, I've recently had to buy some jars as my plea was going unanswered.  confused

The size of the jars I use depends on what I'm making.  Jams and preserves I usually don't use any jar larger than 340g (like the Bonne Maman jars) but will go as small as 100g because sometimes there are tourists in the area and they need something they can fit into their luggage, especially carry-on luggage. (The jars I just purchased are hexagon shape, 300g and 200g). 

Pickled onions I like to use the big fat jars for those; just more appropriate.  With piccalilli I like to use larger jars, perhaps 360g and up to 500g, but will also make a few smaller jars in the same batch.  I get lots of people who say, 'oh, but it's only me at home or it's only me that eats it.'  With different size jars I can cater to a wider group of people and then everyone is happy!

There are certain things that I will only use smaller jars for because the ingredients are more expensive than others, for example my Sweet Thai Chili Paste or Blueberry Jam.  I don't want to be charging people £6 or £7 for a jar of stuff!  I also make a Sweet with Heat Mustard and only use 100g jars for that as mustard powder isn't cheap either!

Regarding prices, I average about £3.00 per jar.  My prices run from .95p (for VERY small jars, about 35-45g each) to as much as £5.75 (for the chili paste) per jar, all depending on ingredients and weight.   I think the area that you sell in will determine the pricing.  I used to sell at a farmer's market monthly near Margate and I would get people who didn't want to pay the prices I had.  Now that I set up in Ramsgate, we get more tourists and lots of people from London who don't even bat an eye at the prices.  I've even had people say 'oh, is that all?' in other words, they can't believe it's that cheap.cool

There is one charity I set up for and that's the Pilgrim's Hospice.  I pay for the stall and donate something for the raffle, usually a bag of goodies including a couple of my jars, and whatever I make, I keep.  I usually do very well at that.  We did their Summer Fair on the 5th of July and we weren't even set up completely before people started buying stuff.  Peter and I didn't even get to have any coffee from our flasks until nearly 12:00 noon!  I was still trying to put out my samples while people were all around my tables.

So, whereabouts in Kent are you?

Terri rose

When in doubt, add more wine.

Sun 3-Aug-14
2:17 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Hi Terri

We live in Hartley near to Longfield in Kent - about 10 minutes from Bluewater. We mostly sell at Fetes/Fayres etc but also try to help out at local community centres for local elderly residents (they like the smaller jars).

Recently we have sold at a local Farm which has proved really successful and by the end of August we hope to have made the £1,000 total for our charities. We usually charge £2.50 for 8oz jars and £3 for the 12oz but I am thinking of increasing that to £3.50. I also supply some caravanners with 4oz jars but have only just started doing that.

We do get heaps of jars donated to us and I've started selling these on EBay quite cheaply - all money goes back into charity fund. They are mostly standard shape 1lb size although I do have quite a lot of Bonne Maman jars and honey jars now. I put new lids on some of them if the original lids are worn and as they are all scrubbed clean of labels and sterilised I think they are good value for jam makers. The ornate or Orcio jars I sell to people looking for wedding table jars - unless they only want a few and then I give them away. Most are kind enough to put a donation into our charity tin. I have met so many lovely people doing this fundraising that I now get quite a lot of fruit being donated and of course that all helps.

You have to load your photos into 'photobucket' if you want to upload them on here - there are some help notes  on the technical forum on CSH that are really useful, if you need them.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w70/pollensavan.....AG0440.jpg

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w70/pollensavan.....AG0218.jpg

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w70/pollensavan.....AG0541.jpg

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Sun 3-Aug-14
2:27 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Terri - I'm impressed with your batch of 18 jars of Gooseberry jam. Do you use a normal 9 litre preserving pan and make 2 batches to get that amount of do you have a much larger pan? I believe you can get huge pans in France and I'm trying to get hold of one.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Mon 4-Aug-14
8:33 pm
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Ambersparkle

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Made Marmalade, got to get started on the Strawberries in the Freezer, next.  Then on to Chutney.

Mon 4-Aug-14
11:28 pm
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eileen54
Somerset

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Busy lady

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Tue 5-Aug-14
3:47 pm
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UK.Terri
Broadstairs, KENT UK

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Good afternoon all!

Maura ~ Thanks for the info on the tech forum; I did find that the other day so when I get a chance, I'll upload. I used to belong to photobucket, but it's been about 3-4 years since I've used it.

I don't use honey jars, at least not the ones from the local beekeepers.  The jar lids are not coated inside (just metal) so can't really use them, especially with chutney.  I use the orcio jars as my sample jars...think they're about 100g size and I ordered them through Lakeland. (my favorite store!)  I have managed to get some jars (about 70 in total) from people by posting a request on one of the groups I'm in on Facebook.

I have the regular size 9 ltr preserving pan.  The batch of gooseberry mainly used 200g and 300g size jars.  I also had one each of 420g, 320g, 310g and 340g.  The pan was quite full! eeek

And in case anyone was wondering, the Butt Burning Chili Jam went over quite well on Sunday!  I sold five jars and now need to make more as I've only got four left!

Yesterday I made a batch of Plum Cinnamon Jam and today I'm in the middle of the Sweet Thai Chili Paste.  That always goes well and I've only got one jar left of that.  Hoping to get about another 10-12 jars in this batch.

Have a good week all!

Terrirose

When in doubt, add more wine.

Tue 5-Aug-14
7:38 pm
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Ambersparkle

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Am making Sweet Cucumber Pickle tomorrow, then will use some of my Glut of Courgettes to make Courgette Relish. Getting busy , now.chef

Wed 6-Aug-14
7:12 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Picking Damsons daily, will be making Damson jam on Friday when I will crank up the Esse. It is three years since we had a good crop. This is for my pantry though! I stock up on jam and bottled fruit for the winter.

My daughter ( married to a Frenchman) has a big copper maslin pan. Think it is bigger than my Lakeland one. 

Trying to enjoy life as it is

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