About Katandra Preserves & Gifts
Daphne Fretwell is a country cook who began her preserving days in 1991 following an oversupply of figs from the organic orchard on their grain property in Lake Varley. The farm was called Katandra, which is Aboriginal for “song of birds”. A typical countrywoman: resourceful, hard working and instilled integrity.
The preserves story began after Daphne took her oversupply of fig jam to a meeting of her local Country Women’s Association. All the women seemed to enjoy the jams and so Daphne expanded to the local tourists visiting the Wildflower Shoppe in Hyden, home of Wave Rock. Daphne then moved into the market fair circuit with the first stall at the local Newdegate Field Day. People were asking for all the varieties that weren’t available. Daphne thoughts were “if customers were asking for them, then I had best make them”. And so it began…over the years the list has become quite extensive.
“People remember eating their grandmothers bottled apricots, fig jam or tomato relish, so they buy a jar or two because they remember the delicious taste” says Daphne. She believes that it is because all her pantry products are filled with flavour and made like they were made in the past - with love and the choicest of local south-west fruit and vegetables, picked in season when they are at their peak and full of flavour.
Fresh ingredients are always used. Pectin is not, it’s freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. There are no colourings, preservatives, additives or numbers and the range is gluten free.
Since selling the farm, Daphne is now based in Busselton where purchasing local south-west first grade fruit and vegetables direct from the grower has remained Katandra’s essence of good preserving. This is why you will often find the variety of the fruit and locality on the label too.
All of the Katandra Preserves products are handmade in season and in small batches at the Katandra commercial Kitchen Studio. Whether it is buckets of mulberries or boxes of tomatoes and capsicums, the in-season produce always drives the product of the moment in the kitchen. “There is always plenty of choice from savoury to sweet treats all-year-round.”