"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday 3 December 2016


Last year the mousebirds ate ALL the berries.  Every b-l-o-o-d-y one of them.

To say I was displeased doesn't quite cover the emotion.

This year I was determined that the birds were gong to get their tithe, but that we would get the other 90%
The bushes looked magnificent with their display of blossoms.
...and the bees were ecstatic - and plentiful in their approval.
Both the bees, and the wood mulch worked
their magic on the youngberry blossoms :D
This year, when the berries started settling their fruit, I proceeded to take steps to ensure that the mousebirds shared the crop with us...

Out came the foil trays.
Foil trays strategically placed to deter the mousebirds
from the ripening fruit
And they worked beautifully!!
Yummy, luscious youngberries - a small sample of the
10kgs I have harvested this year.
Apart from what I have already shared amongst family, and what I have given to neighbours, this is my stash from the youngberry bush harvest.
Youngberry cordial dripping from the
fruit filled muslin cloth - RMan's
favourite drink which invokes
good childhood memories :D

From top left: 4 X Youngberry sauce (freezer), 2 X youngberry jam,
4 X youngberry cordial
Front: 1 X (open)youngberry sauce (fridge), 1 X youngberry fruit leather
Youngberry sauce (for the freezer) youngberry jam, youngberry cordial - and I even tried to make a youngberry fruit leather in the Foothills DryAway :)
My first attempt at fruit leather
To make the leather I took the leftover fruit in the muslin cloth (from the cordial) and spread it on trays in the Foothills DryAway.  It was a tad thicker than it should have been, and took a couple of days, but it seems to have worked :)
Youngberry sauce
I couldn't wait - as soon as the sauce was ready, I had a helping of the still steaming sauce on top of homemade yoghurt for breakfast - bliss :D

Now that is what I call a successful thwarting of the birds, and an excellent harvest.

For more info on the Foothills DryAway please click the link.


  1. Congrats on coming up with a way to save your berries! Always nice to find something that doesn't harm the environment, but works well. Enjoy those yummies!

    1. Sue - " 'n boer maak 'n plan (a farmer makes a plan ;) )

  2. How beautiful your harvest turned out. Glad the foil tins kept the birds at bay.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

    1. Dlowerlady Lorraine - Thank you. Yup - the foil trays definitely work... ;)

  3. Youngberries! I've never heard of the but they look very similar to what we have here in the Southern US called "Dewberries". They ripen for us every Spring. Seems like every other year is a bumper crop. Next year should be the bumper year, fingers crossed. Ours grow wild, EVERYWHERE on the property so fighting birds is next to impossible but there are enough for all of us usually.

    I love what you did with all of your berries. You have inspired me for our harvest next Spring. I need to look up some cordial recipes. It all looks wonderful!!!

    1. 1st Man - I've never heard of Dewberries lol

      Cordials are the best - no artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. Probably best stored in the freezer - pulling out a bottle when required ;)

  4. Yowzer, that's fantastic. Those rascally rascals are foiled!

  5. We just have blackberries and blue berries here. Never heard of those. Looks good to eat though!

    1. Harry - Blueberries are good - very good. They're full of antioxidants. I've tried to get plants here, to no avail - thus far... ;)

  6. I'm definitely giving those pans a try next summer. I pretty much manage to share with the birds, but they get more than their fair share of elderberries.

    Please let us know about how you like the fruit leather! I've always fed my fruit pulps to the chickens (except the elder which I read they shouldn't have) but never braved making leather with it.

    1. Leigh - To be honest I am tasting so much that I am currently preserving I haven't tried it yet. I am all sweetened out. But, I will let you know...

      My chickens are strange creatures - they don't like pumpkins, and didn't go anywhere near the berry bushes, never mind trying to "pick their own".

  7. Hi, Love your youngberry plants! Looks like they grow well in the climate there. Did you start them from seed? Are you starting any more seedlings? Going to need to get some for my plot too.

    1. Ludine - The youngberry bushes are available from Wildebraam in Swellendam ;)

  8. My first time viewing this rich blog of earth conscious individuals, and I must say it's amazing. Though growing your own food is not easy, it sure is satisfying and more healthier.

    Will continue following this blog. :)

    Thank a mil.

    1. kululekani - Welcome - and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Thank you for your kind words, too. There is nothing better than growing you own food - apart from anything else, you know exactly what you're putting in your body and you know it doesn't contain any chemicals ;)


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