It’s the next logical step in the wholefoods and slow food movement really. It makes sense – if you can get great produce from local farmers why not pickle, preserve or process it yourself? You’ll know for sure what’s in your food and where the ingredients come from and when you make it yourself with love, food simply tastes better. Once you’ve kitted yourself out with the basic ingredients and equipment it is often cheaper too…


Learning the Nonna and Nanna Arts

So there’s a few ways to learn these skills…get an apprenticeship to an artisan, do a workshop, read a book or buy a kit. Over the last few months we have been stocking up on all of the above and the necessary kitchen hardware to meet our own DIY drives. Here’s just a few of the bits and pieces we have to support you in your home-making endeavors – you’ll find most of the stuff facing you at the back of the Store when you walk in, around the tellie playing the cheese making tips…


Making your own yoghurt is super easy and super cheap. You can make it without thickeners, added sugar or flavours. Slowly heat just about any kind of milk on the stove until the point it bubbles, cool it, add probiotic culture (or a big tablespoon of your last lot of yoghurt) and keep it warm for 8 -12 hours. Craig likes to use an esky with wheat bags; others of us love the neatness and simplicity of the EasiYo yoghurt maker. Once you go pro check out the yolife yoghurt maker, it has an electric element to get the temp just right and includes snack size jars. Try it with local Jonesy’s Milk or Jersey Milk for a super creamy treat…

 Preserving your Produce:

(WARNING!! CHRISTMAS REFERENCE FOLLOWS!!) Creating your own preserves is a fabulous way to make Christmas gifts. Don’t rush to do it at the last minute – make it a leisurely labour of love. As produce comes into season make a batch of this and a batch of that, whip up a hand made label an artful bow. Start here….

DK the Preserving Book Edited by Lynda Brown. From a range of professional DIY’ers – renowned home economists (yep! They still exist), charcuterie makers, organic smokers, home brewers and food writers. An excellent introduction to all forms of preserving. It’s practical, modern, great pictures, with easy to follow instructions.

If you wish they had offered Home Economics at your high school and would like some hand holding you could grab Fowlers Simple, Natural Preserving Kit. It’s plug and play, contains fowlers jars, clips and lids (You know, the one’s wedding stylists are snapping up from all the op shops), instructions, recipe book and a unit that preserves with heat – foolproof. Start saving summers bounty for grey winter days…

If Sausage or Salami Making takes your fancy:

Home Sausage Making By Susan Mahnke Peery & Charles G. Reavis  From the Authors: “If you’ve never made sausages before, this book will walk you through to your first successful sausage…With minimal equipment, anyone can make simple fresh sausage: It’s like meatloaf stuffed into a casing” 

In the Charcuterie By Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller  This book takes you much deeper into the smoking arts, deep into the detail including how to butcher a whole beast. Not for the faint hearted, this is definitely a second year student textbook…

When you are in the homemaking section of the shop, look up for grinders and suction-based sausage makers (a simple tool for filling casing). We’ve also got collagen casings in 10 m lengths – handy for creating props for B-Grade horror movies too.

Not to forget fermenting:

We bored you silly at the beginning of winter with our new found love of all things fermented…Well, we too have taken the DIY one step further and have stocked up on all the equipment you need to get fermenting yourself – books, jars, weights, and thermometers.

If you are looking for a book with a little bit of everything try:


Rohan Anderson’s Whole Larder Love – Grow, Gather, Hunt & Cook has chapters on pickling, preserving, curing and storing your bounty – all rather beautifully and opinionatedly presented. It’s pretty novel to have a cookbook that includes hunting tips it’s taking it to a whole new level. Rohan’s philosophy is that simple doesn’t always mean easy, it might take work, dirt under your fingernails, sweat on your brow…but it’s well worth the effort.


Tim Hayward’s FOOD DIY – How to make everything: sausages to smoked salmon, sourdough to sloe gin, bacon to buns. What more do you need to know? Tim says “Why DIY? Because its fun, an adventure, thrifty, a great way to get your hands gloriously dirty…Crucially, you’ll know where your food comes from and you can make sure that ALL the food you eat is absolutely delicious.” It’s been called ‘the essential modern urban cooks manual’ It’s hipster to Rohan Anderson’s Hunter…