Bartering for OJ

Sarah Derrett lives over the hill in Lidgetton.  She really walks the local living talk and started a Barter Market on the first Saturday of each month. I love it. You pitch up with whatever excess you have and swop with whoever else arrives. I go home with milk, eggs, mushrooms, peppers, seeds, sunflowers, books, plants, bread and freshly squeezed, organically grown, orange juice. It is fantastic.  I simply had to write a little story about the juice.

mpop enviro club 069

Intrigued by a recurring listing on GumTree under ‘Property – Other’, Sarah went to investigate and discovered an abandoned orange farm. “Fallen fruit was rotting on the floor, the ground was covered in moss. Commercial farmers would have thought it a disaster, but we saw abundance. The fact that it hadn’t been sprayed for years meant the fruit was as organic as one could find.” Sarah and friends set to work to unlock the potential and rehabilitate the farm, creating permaculture gardens and repairing broken basic infrastructure.

r Sarah Derrett with Oranges for MC

Then, armed with a hand juicer, that didn’t last long, Sarah set about collecting the speckled (no spray, remember), sweet fruit to make fresh orange juice for sale. “It has been so well received. I think many people didn’t realise how many additives there are in commercial fruit juice.”  Recently she purchased an industrial juicer. This is an impressive contraption (appropriately orange coloured) that halves the fruit and turns 3kgs of fruit into a litre of juice in a flash. It is mesmerising. “Often my whole family sits and watches it work” she laughs, “the amount of juice that sprays out is amazing.”

r orange squeezer

Lily (4) had a classmate tell her when she unpacked her lunch box recently “Fruit juice is bad for you, it has too much sugar.”  Lily was pleased to report back to him the next day that hers was actually fine – just loaded with natural fructose, but none of the bad sugars and oodles of vitamin C, of course.

r oranges and twins

While Sarah is clearly having a lot of fun and enjoying her newly acquired taste for champagne with organic orange juice, the fact that a good food is not lying rotting in a field somewhere, is the greatest joy of the enterprise. Full of fresh and funky ideas, Sarah is dreaming up plans to extract oil from the rare un-poisoned rind for use in cleaning products and health oils; make candied peel and try her hand at gentle freezing methods that preserve the health benefits.

Her delicious juice is available at the Barter it Market at Caladdi B&B on the first Saturday of each month, or at Greetings Café in Howick, Steam Punk and Dovehouse. Sarah has plans for a just-squeezed Juice Bar somewhere in the Midlands soon.

r orange juice 010

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2 thoughts on “Bartering for OJ

  1. Fabulous, and so beautifully reported. Go for it Sarah ~ what you are doing is just awesome. And yes, please do make candied peel because I couldn’t find any in Durban around Christmastime to make Christmas mincemeat.

    Liked by 1 person

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