Category Archives: The Farm

To market, to market…

I think I might have mentioned already that the ‘harvest’ this year will be minimal to non-existent. We have a few olives in brine ready to pack and sell but otherwise the farm produced little in the way of the hazelnuts and olives that should provide our living.This throws us out onto our own resources so we sat down, thought a bit, and decided I could make lots of pickles, jams, chutneys and the like to sell at local markets until we had a decent harvest of the other produce.

Since then I’ve been working slowly towards creating a variety of products, tho necessarily in small batches. They have to be small because we don’t have that much fruit from the orchard to process! We had quite a few Nashi pears, Damsons, Conference Pears and a lot of plums but not really in commercial quantities. Still, we have *some* things to sell.

Another challenge has been the labelling. Apart from having exactly *no* experience or expertise in producing the pickles etc *(so have to play it by ear), I also have no knowledge of *labelling* either which is making the entire process both time consuming and *very* frustrating! Ok it’s a learning curve I have to climb… and a steep one at that, but in all honesty I can say it wasn’t high on my ‘bucket list’ of “things I want to do before I die”. Even now I’m prevaricating. I managed to make some form of label for most of the jars, at least for the front so people know what they’re buying, but I’m yet to compete the backs. It’s a legal requirement to have nutritional labelling on the jars etc so I have little choice but do it, nevertheless it *is* a struggle.  😀

What outcome on the income?

The obvious problem with leaving a well paid job and moving away from the sort of company liable to employ you in a similar role is that you end up in a situation where you have no income. So in those circumstances what do you do?

If you said ‘panic’ I’m right there with you. Well I sort of was but again obviously, that couldn’t last and we had to start trying to make sense of our situation.

To begin with we had bought a nut farm so our first step was to check the potential harvest. Wonderful. We’d arrived in a drought period and there were no nuts. To add to our delight we discovered out olive trees cropped biennially… and we were in the wrong year. More joy.

Something needed to be done and the answer was simple… no, not to panic again but to make something. With that as our inspiration we set out to creat things ‘farmy’ that we could sell at local markets until the nuts and olives fruited etc.. Over tha opast few weeks we’ve set to making pickles, jams and chutney’s, bottling them and preparing ourselves to set our stall up (literally) in local markets.

I should point out here than we have as much experience in creating, bottling and selling pickles, jams and chutneys as we do farming, in other words none. More on that in the next post and probably the next twenty-five or so!!