Last week I made Cape Gooseberry Jam for the first time. What a lovely tangy little spoonful that is. Especially when spread on Allan’s homemade sour dough. Making the jam made me it has been just over a year since I last posted for Gecko Grove. 2018 and 2019 have been busy for us. We had a wedding, and a grandchild, new friends and family members and new interests and activities. Although I have made quite a lot of preserves in the last year, it has been for family and friends and some how I never got around to holding many jam sessions or going to markets.
Preparing and eating good food has always made me happy. I started Gecko Grove Fine Foods in 2013 as part of my plan to live a simple, sustainable life and I dragged my family along for the ride. It has been such fun and I learnt so much. As well as becoming a better cook, I learnt about business management, merchandising, event planning and I met some amazing people.
In the end though, the financial returns did not match with all the work. It’s clear that small business have an uphill battle to remain competitive with the big supermarkets and mass producers. So much goes into a little jar of Gecko Grove and often my return wouldn’t account for a salary for my time spent at markets. Not that I would mind of course, but the early morning starts were certainly in contrast to my lifestyle. And when the economy is constrained, as it seems to be these days, people are forced to buy the basics and can’t spare a little extra for a bottle of homemade jam or tasty chutney. And while it seems that people are now more prepared to pay for lessons and experiences like learning to make preserves, it is tricky finding times and dates to suit.
So it seems that it is time for Gecko Grove to officially close shop. So thank you to all that have supported me over the years, whether it was just one jar or several, your encouragement certainly made it worthwhile. For my friends and family, you can be sure that the jam making won’t cease and to everyone else, maybe this post is an instigator to learn the craft yourself or a prompt to visit your local market and support another jam maker or small business bottling a little jar of magic.
P.S. For those keen to try their own jam making, and those who always wanted to come to a cooking session We will be having one last Jam Session in October and I will be selling sets of jam making equipment including maslin pot, funnel and jars. If you’re interested, see my next post for details and send me a message.