Bella con­tin­ues an ‘old’ tra­di­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Ag Life - BY SARAH SCULLY

De­spite grow­ing up in a gen­er­a­tion of con­ve­nience, Na­timuk teenager Bella Fort has a strong ap­pre­ci­a­tion of both the ef­forts and re­wards of ‘old-fash­ioned’ cook­ing.

Bella, 15, is con­tin­u­ing a fam­ily tra­di­tion of pre­serv­ing fruit and mak­ing her own jam, sauce and rel­ish, us­ing meth­ods and recipes passed on by her grand­mother, Glenys Fort.

Mrs Fort’s in­ter­est in the ‘dy­ing’ art of pre­serv­ing was sparked by her own mother.

“I was al­ways en­cour­aged by my mother. She used to do a lot of pre­serv­ing, be­cause there was al­ways plenty of food around in those days,” she said.

“I sup­pose I’ve just kept up the tra­di­tion.

“They reckon I’m the best mar­malade cooker. I sell it down at the craft shop.”

Mrs Fort said al­though she en­joyed pre­serv­ing fruits and mak­ing jams and condi­ments, she un­der­stood why the process was be­com­ing less and less pop­u­lar.

“The way of liv­ing changed, re­ally,” she said.

“It’s so much eas­ier to stew fruit and put it in the freezer now than pre­serve it.

“It’s the same with sauce­mak­ing – it is a long pro­ce­dure.

But I think it’s worth it. Pre­serv­ing and mak­ing jam is al­ways re­ward­ing. It’s nice to see it in the cup­board.”

Mrs Fort, who has lived in Na­timuk her whole life, is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Na­timuk Show.

She en­tered sev­eral items in the mile­stone 150th show at the week­end. has

Bella, who has also en­tered many sec­tions in Na­timuk Show com­pe­ti­tions since pri­mary school, en­tered jam and pre­serve cat­e­gories for the first time this year.

“I’ve al­ways en­cour­aged Bella to en­ter as many sec­tions as she can,” Mrs Fort said.

“It’s al­ways re­ward­ing when she sees the tick­ets. Bella has al­ways lived with me and I’ve al­ways en­cour­aged her.

“When she said, ‘I’m go­ing to do some jam this year’, I said, ‘well you can have a go – but you don’t re­alise how long you have to stand there and stir’.”

Bella’s mo­ti­va­tion? “To beat Nana”.

Bella said she en­joyed com­pe­ti­tion.

“Mum’s al­ways said I should put stuff in and see – com­ing from the same house­hold and the same method of mak­ing it – the dif­fer­ence on how it comes out,” she said.

In the end, the pair en­tered items in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories, en­joy­ing a wealth of suc­cess.

Bella said while she would en­cour­age other young peo­ple to give pre­serv­ing or jam-mak­ing a go, it would be dif­fi­cult with­out guid­ance.

“All this stuff is ‘old fash­ioned’,” she said.

“The gen­er­a­tion com­ing through, none of our par­ents did that stuff. It got lost af­ter Nana’s gen­er­a­tion and it hasn’t re­ally be trans­ferred to us. These days, ev­ery­thing is in a shop.

“You can go there and buy a packet of jam in any flavour you want, from sev­eral dif­fer­ent brands. “It’s a lot more con­ve­nient.” Bella, who vol­un­teers with Na­timuk Agri­cul­tural and Pas­toral the So­ci­ety, said she hoped to see more cat­e­gories for young peo­ple at fu­ture Na­timuk shows.

“We need more sec­tions for kids stuff,” she said.

“It would be good if the so­ci­ety would have more in­put from young peo­ple.

Youth award

Bella was recog­nised for her com­mit­ment to the Na­timuk com­mu­nity at the show.

Wim­mera po­lice su­per­in­ten­dent Paul Mar­getts and Hor­sham Sta­tion Com­man­der Se­nior Sergeant Bren­dan Broad­bent pre­sented Bella with the Vic­to­ria Po­lice Youth Award.

The award rec­og­nizes com­mu­nity spirit and ser­vice, com­mu­nity pride, lead­er­ship, ini­tia­tive, achieve­ment and per­sonal courage-con­fi­dence.

Bella re­ceived the award for be­ing a re­li­able role model to many youth in the Na­timuk com­mu­nity.

FAM­ILY TRA­DI­TION: Na­timuk’s Glenys Fort and grand­daugh­ter Bella Fort en­tered sev­eral items in Na­timuk Show com­pe­ti­tions this year. The pair en­joyed suc­cess through­out the day.

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