Sunday, 9 March 2008


I always enjoy reading what Jackie French has to say - I guess because I seem to always agree with her - and in the middle of this heat-wave it is nice to settle back into Jackie's garden and have another virtual nose about.

Here she is photographed with one of the many wombats she has met in her garden!

I think our SA government is making a big mistake with the way it has gone about managing our water (no surprises there) but my reasons are not selfish ones about me and my garden. I am not sure that I have the strength to go into my philosophy of treading lightly on the earth and all that means for civilisation right now, and it is far too important a topic to write about just go and read Jackie's description of living with a magic grove, and check out all the photos here. Jackie is not trying to prove anything or sell anything on these pages, she is just a lovely Australian woman thinking about what she does.

There are a lot of things that need to be understood about ...well, everything, and I will get my thoughts together in a coherent way soon - probably when the cool change comes.

Jackie has written dozens of books and every Australian child born in the last 30 years will know several of her children's books. My children grew up on them and I loved reading her books to them from when they were toddlers. My first really serious thinking about sustainability was directed by Jackie's gardening book: Backyard Self-sufficiency. I still love it and I can quote from it like other people quote the bible!

Here is one of Jackie's hot day recipes. If only I had some more of Chook's mum's lemons I would make this now. Instead, I will have something even better - Deb's Adult Raspberry Cordial / Vinegar

Really Red Raspberry and Lemon Cordial
This and others are freely available here.

This is very red, very fruity and very very good!
2 kg sugar
1 packet frozen raspberries
2 cups lemon or lime juice
6 teaspoons tartaric acid (you can buy this in the supermarket)
4 cups water
Boil everything for ten minutes. Strain out the raspberry lumps in a strainer. Use a funnel to pour the cordial into clean- sterilised if possible- bottles.Keep in a cool place, and if it looks or smells odd or starts bubbling throw it out! Just remember it doesn't have any preservatives in it, so it won't last very long before going bad. But it should be fine for two weeks or so. If the weather is hot keep it in the fridge, or freeze it if you want to keep it for more than a couple of weeks.
To use: just use like other cordial- put a splash in a glass and top with water.
ps you can use blueberries or blackberries or cherries instead of raspberries

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