One of the best ways of saving money and carbon is to make the ‘family drive’ or weekend holiday pay for itself by passing by a few farms where they sell produce for low cost in season.

All to often we go for a drive and realize that there’s no point in buying those eggs, berries or cabbages as we don’t have a cooler bag or containers with us.

sorell_fruit_farm

I ALWAYS take a flexible esky with a zipper and a few freezer blocks so that if we pass something interesting in the way of produce, I can collect it easily.

PickYourOwn.org is a favourite site of mine in which all the info is listed quite clearly – locations and rules etc. of open farms.

PYO, U-pick, upickem, pick-it-yourself farms in Australia, including contact information, fruit or vegetables to pick, directions, opening hours and more are all easy to read. Just select your region then scroll down the page that comes up.

If you see anything that is NOT listed, send them a courtesy email so that they can expand the listing.

They also list harvesting and preservation methods and a calendar with harvest dates.

As well they include:

* Picking Tips!

  • General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable
  • Yields – how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen
  • Selecting the right varieties to pick
  • All about apple varieties – which to pick and why!
  • Picking tips for vegetables
  • Strawberry picking tips
  • Blueberries picking tips

* Recipes

* Simple instructions:

  • How to make jam
  • How to make applesauce
  • How to make apple butter

* Canning and Freezing

  • FAQs – Answers to common questions and problems
  • Comprehensive addition resources
  • Free publications to download and print

The Fowlers Vacola kit is the traditional best. These are available at Bunnings and Mitre 10 but you can often pick them up at deceased estate, clearance auctions and ebay very cheaply.

Lids and jars are available at op shops but always buy the rubber rings new (then you CAN recycle them and get a few seasons out of them.

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