Lana, who grew up on a dairy farm in Naringal surrounded by animals, veggie patches and fruit trees, is the “rhubarb lady” of the South-West.
The 100% natural preserves, handmade by Lana under the “Lana’s Garden” label, have one central ingredient: rhubarb.
All of our rhubarb relishes, sauces and dips are 100% natural, gluten free and of course delicious! Our products are all natural and contain no artificial flavours , colours or preservatives.
It wasn’t long ago that the long, red-stalked vegetable with the poisonous leaves was viewed as old fashioned. But seven years ago Lana took an educated punt, and it has paid dividends. It has been a long road, however, with a few twists and turns, with lots of trialling, tasting and learning how to market her small, home-based business in Warrnambool.
Once our rhubarb was all grown in the backyard of our home in Warrnambool, Victoria. Now we have grown too large for our backyard patch to cope with the ever growing demand for our rhubarb preserves. Extra rhubarb is sourced from a local grower. Our rhubarb patch started with just two plants that I had been given, these were divided and many family and friends donated some of their crowns. Later, a number of crowns were purchased and we have replanted from seed, now we have over 1000 plants that include several different varieties.
It is a great vegetable as very little bothers rhubarb, you water it, feed it, harvest it and cook it. Rhubarb has many health benefits, its stalks are a good source of fibre, benefiting your digestive health. It contains antioxidants and vitamin K, an essential property that helps with blood clotting, protecting the bones and help fighting off liver and prostate cancer. Rhubarb is also a good source of vitamin C (great for a healthy immune system), calcium, potassium and magnesium. In my opinion, rhubarb doused in sugar would negate any powerful health benefits. Though I’m not against a treat once in a while.
It’s all about the rhubarb, everything that we produce is based around rhubarb. Currently there are six products in the Lana’s Garden range. Rhubarb and Raspberry Jam, Rhubarb Relish, Rhubarb Coulis, Rhubarb and Chilli Salsa, a savoury Rhubarb Sauce and Rhubarb Vinegar. Lana’s Garden products are handmade in small batches, each batch is individual in colour depending on the season and varieties used. As we’ve mentioned, all products are gluten free and do not contain artificial colours, artificial flavours or artificial preservatives.
Lana’s great grandmother’s rhubarb relish recipe, a farm childhood and hospitality experience have helped Lana’s Garden prosper into one of Victoria’s leading Rhubarb preserves producers.
From humble beginnings Lana has created a small thriving business. Lana’s Garden, an organic food business built around her home-grown rhubarb, which has expanded from a mere concept a decade ago to producing an average 1200kg of product a month.
She set up the business so she could spend more time with her children. Now the Warrnambool mum’s rhubarb coulis, relish, jam and savoury sauce is sold at farmers’ markets and food merchants from Mt Gambier to Melbourne.
Lana also has a keen interest in giving back to the community. Lana established a local initiative called Made By Me Markets, which raises funds for non-profit organisations. The markets are supported by stall-holders selling high quality, hand-made items. Funds are raised through gold coin entry on the day, a raffle of donated items and stall holder fees.
You can regularly find the tasty Rhubarb Preserves created by Lana’s Garden, as well as other fresh produce and locally made products downstairs at The Pavilion Cafe and Bar, Warrnambool Breakwater. Find out more about the Made by Me Markets on the group’s Facebook Page