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🍓 The Farmgirl Monthly 🍓
June: The Traditional Art of Jam Making
FEATURED FARM CRAFT
"What do you enjoy most about the “crafting of jam” process?"

I love the history of preserving fruit through jam making. It’s a time old tradition that is used all over the world and I feel like I’m going back in time when I’m making jams. I also love how sustainable jam making is. I primarily use fruits that may not sell in the market, so there is no waste of produce. I’m able to create a shelf stable product from fruits that are not pretty enough to sell.
FARM CRAFTS
Wicked Finch Farm
Hello! I'm Mariana, the maker/jamstress behind Wicked Finch Farm. I made my first batch of jam from blueberries growing at our home in Pawling, NY. My husband and Mother-in-law had planted the bushes years ago on a former dairy farm. Before she passed, she and I had made plans to make jam together, which sadly, did not come to be.

We were both unopposed to a good cocktail, which was an inspiration when I started building jam flavors. I enjoy beginning with the fresh fruit. Next, I simmer fruit with wine or spirit for taste, then add complementary flavors like elderflower or Chai tea.

I worked as a designer for large corporations, feeling less creative each year. It felt really satisfying to work with my hands again in a traditional farm craft. I drew upon my art background to create bespoke packaging because I wanted the outside of the jar to reflect how remarkable the contents were inside. The more preserves I made, the more versatile I found they were, from being used as a cocktail mixer in the 1900s to savory uses in addition to topping sweet baked goods.

Wicked Finch Farm jam, from start to finish, is a product of multiple skills in tribute to the people I love.

Morning Glory Farms
Morning Glory Farms was originally started on our 60 acre ranch in Bradley, California (San Luis Obispo County) Central coast in 2001. My mother lived with our family at that time and we enjoyed canning and making jams. Friends and neighbors would ask to buy them and that was the start of Morning Glory Farms.  Four years ago, Belia retired from the business and I continued to grow Morning Glory Farms. Recently, the farm moved to Santa Margarita, California where I continue to produce jams, jellies and butters. My operation consists of this process... Pruning and fertilizing the fruit trees, harvesting the fruit and vegetables, canning and preserving them to use throughout the year to product jams, jellies and butters. I partner with other farmers in the area to acquire products I need that I do not grow. Also, Morning Glory Farms produces wine jams and jellies (My Signature Collection) made from wine grapes and wines produced in this area. Morning Glory Farms is located in the heart of wine country on the central coast of California.

I sell my products at local farmers markets, special events, specialty or gift shops, wine tasting rooms and online. I love sampling jams to the public and I love creating new jam recipes and new seasonal jams. Morning Glory Farms has been featured in these publications... 805 Living, Paso Robles Magazine, San Luis Obispo Tribune and the San Miguel Chamber of Commerce.

I love to create custom orders for special events along with special designed labels for customers.

Prevedelli Farms
We are fourth-generation family farm who have been farming in Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, California since 1945. At Prevedelli Farms, everyone in the family is involved, whether working in the field or at farmers’ markets. We specialize in organic apples, pears, and berries. Over 45 different kinds of apples and pears are grown on our farm, many of which are heirloom and rare varieties.

During the height of summer, our pride is our berry offerings—Olallieberry, Blackberry, Boysenberry, Loganberry and Raspberry. We work around the berries’ schedule, not ours, so when they are at peak of flavor. That is when we are picking to get them to the farmer’s market!
But we also offer “to-go” versions of these intense flavors, so that anyone, anywhere, anytime can enjoy the sweet tastes of a California summer.

Our jams and preserves range from the rich deliciousness of Boysenberry to the tastes-just-like-a-pie goodness of Olallieberry, to our many improvisations—piquant Blackberry Lime, sassy Boysenberry Jalapeño Pepper Jam, and our best-seller, a three-berry pile-up called— wait for it—Traffic Jam! We also offer Apple and Pear Fruit Butters, Prickly Pear Jam, and Meyer Lemon Marmalade. At Prevedelli Farms, we preserve sustainable farming traditions—and great tastes!

Uglie Acres
My name is Nicole Shultz and my husband and I own Uglie Acres, a small farm in Windsor, PA. We make 47 flavors of Jam and Jelly, toffee, brittle, extracts and fudge.

We believe Ingredients play a large roll in building the ideal flavor. So, we grow and use our own fruit when at all possible. But, when we do buy ingredients, we buy fresh. With our farm being so close to Lancaster, we have access to many local produce stands and farmers markets. Finding the best and freshest ingredients at market allows us to make the best tasting food while still keeping the price affordable.

We also use all natural ingredients. No artificial sweeteners or colors. Just simple food made simply. And with no artificial preservatives, our jam is perfect to cook with, from cookies to meat glaze. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get out of one jar. If you decide to give us a try, I sincerely hope you enjoy our products as much as I've enjoyed making them.

FARM TRADITIONS
Flavour in a Jar, Literally!
By: Melody Gilbertson, Owner, Flavour in a Jar

Blackberry, Honey and Thyme Jam, are you intrigued? Peach and Bourbon Jam, Strawberry Watermelon Jam, is your mouth watering yet? Pear, Maple and Curry Jam, how about now? Flavour in a Jar isn’t only a name, but offers these wonderful, specialty, artisan flavours in our hand-made, small-batch jams and jellies. Established in 2009 as a produce garden specializing in heirloom vegetables, we quickly realized that the freshest, perfectly ripe ingredients make the best end products. Our preserves are made with ingredients we grow on the farm, and if it is a product we don’t grow, then we source our ingredients from local SE MN producers. By keeping our ingredients local, and dealing directly with the producers, we are starting with the very best building blocks to make our amazing products, and it shows. We also don’t use any artificial preservatives, or colorings in our products. Fruits, vegetables, citric juices, vinegars, spices, sugar and pectin are the only ingredients in the majority of our offerings. When we do use an ingredient which is already prepared, such as mustard or Worcestershire, we only use organic products without preservatives as well.

With the popularity of home canning on the rise due to an increased interest in consumers partially due to the pandemic and partially a more food conscious consumer, we have had many people ask us if we use any specialized equipment in the making of our products? Not at all. Everything we use to make our products, anyone who home cans would be using the same equipment. We also feel that by keeping our batches small (less than 20 jars), it is easier to control the quality of the process, and maintain consistency between batches. But isn’t it hard to do? Not once you get the hang of it. The process of making your own preserves seems like a daunting task, and I’ll admit I felt that way in the beginning too. You will burn a batch or two, you will have a boil over and a HUGE mess to clean up, but what you make in the end will be amazing, not only in taste, but in pride of accomplishment. My only suggestion would be for those who give it a try, use only local ingredients, such as those found at the local Farmers Markets or local U-Pick farms. These ingredients were picked at the peak of ripeness, and not under-ripe to be able to travel large distances. This vine or tree ripeness will give the fruits or vegetables used the most intense, real flavour instead of weak or washed-out taste. Not only will you have the best ingredients, you will be keeping the local food movement going by supporting local farmers.

Still unsure about giving it a go yourself? You can find Flavour in a Jar, and our award-winning jams and jellies at the Rochester Farmers Market every Saturday at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds in Rochester, MN from 7:30am to noon. For readers from the Twin Cities metro area, you can find us online at the Frank and Earnest Market www.frankandernestmarkets.com. You can also order directly from our website: www.flavourinajar.com. Also, you can follow us for recipe ideas, and latest product updates on Facebook


Happy canning!
Urban Nanna
At The Urban Nanna, we live by and teach the foundational ethics of permaculture: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share, and we use the 12 permaculture principles to guide our daily actions. When it comes to living a “rental permaculture” life, where moving home every 1-2 years is a reality, this means certain tweaks are required to the traditional image of a ‘homestead’ with orchards of ancient trees and fields of berry canes. 

We grow a wide range of fruits for jam making – including alpine strawberries, rhubarb, apricotsquince and even heritage fruits like medlar – in repurposed or reclaimed containers, which we fill with no-dig layers of homemade compost, worm manure, and dried leaves or peastraw. Growing in containers means we can take our garden along when we have to move, and also means we can group them in ‘food forests’ and in ‘guilds’ to make best use of space and the different microclimates at each new rental property.
 
To supplement the homegrown fruits we use in jam making, we get to know our local terroir and forage wild and feral ingredients to make the most of wild food abundance year-round. Fruits like plums, apples and blackberries grow prolifically in Southern Australia, and every year we catch and store the sun’s energy by making a wide variety of jams and preserves with these delicious free foods.

 
 
Summer Jam – A versatile jam recipe using foraged or homegrown summer fruits 
 
Wild Plum & Port Jam – Using feral fruit to make a festive gift
Frog Hollow Farm
Here at Frog Hollow Farm, what sets us apart is not just amazingly delicious organic fruit, but also our rather elaborate fruit grading process and the many uses we have created for those different grades. If it isn’t sold fresh, through wholesale to stores, our mail order business, our CSA, or one of our many weekly farmers markets, it is used in our kitchen for making jams and pastries, or it is dried. The very end of the line for any fruit that can’t be sold, cooked, frozen, or dried, is compost, along with our kitchen “waste”. I hesitate to use that word because we waste nothing. My husband, Farmer Al, cannot stand to see anything thrown away. He emphasizes another dimension to farming sustainably that you don’t hear much about. Farming sustainably it is not only about what you do or don’t apply to crops; it is also about managing through-puts and finding value in it. Making compost is one of our regenerative farming practices such as using beneficial insects, and cutting weeds in the orchard to build up organic matter in the soil. To me, it is also one of our value-added products, like jam.

I love making jam, and I love getting jam from people. Jam making is very democratic in that you don’t have to be an amazing chef to make a decent batch of jam. I have friends who don’t cook, but will always "put-up“ fruit every summer. It is a wonderful way to preserve the flavors of the season, and it is a wonderful way to share it.

I can still see and smell my childhood kitchen, quite vividly during olallieberry season. The counter was filled with jars (half pint, always quilted crystal style) and opened 5 lb bags of C&H sugar sat alongside the red, white, and light blue boxes holding bricks of Parowax Household Wax. On the stove sat, a 2 gallon stock pot, full of boiling water, ready to sterilize the jars and, of course, a big pot with juicy blue-black olallieberries bubbling away. There was the small sauce pan, half filled with melted wax, which lived in the cupboard under the stove the rest of the year, waiting patiently for next summer. On the kitchen table were flats of olallieberries my mother bought from the local farmstand. When it was done, I remember hacking away at the wax trying to get to the jam; sometimes it would loosen easily from the edges and come out in a perfect disc and other times it needed several jabs with a sharp knife. It was always worth the effort.

My mother always used Sure-jell to make her jam. Olallieberries, like raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are naturally very low in pectin and need it added in some form. Sure-jell was the go-to source of pectin back in those days, before low-methoxyl and no-sugar pectins were widely available. In order for pectin to set, it requires a certain amount of acid and sugar. Most recipes using sure-jell use equal amounts of fruit and sugar. While it worked fine with blackberries and olallieberries, it was and is still too much sugar for my taste.

When I came to the farm and began our jam making business, I knew I wanted it to be as natural as possible and that I wanted to get away from making jam with added pectin. My goal has always been to let the fruit flavor shine through, and to make the jam be as close to eating fresh fruit as possible. Since the pectin of stone fruit lies in the skin, my work around for peaches is to leave the skin on. Peaches are relatively low in natural pectin, but fortunately, cherries and plums have plenty. They work wonderfully added to strawberries. In addition to giving the jam body, they also add depth while not over powering the strawberry flavor.

Jammin' With Honey
Happy Hollow Native Foods and Apothecary is a husband and wife owned small business located in Spicewood, Texas. We are in the beautiful Hill Country just West of Austin. Amber has a Horticulture and Business degree from Texas State University, and Henry is a former Chef.

When we married, we decided to marry our passions as well. We noticed all the native edibles growing wild on our properties and friends' - Mustang Grapes, Prickly Pears, Texas Persimmons, Mesquite Beans, Chili Pequin peppers, Dewberries, Agarita berries, and more - so we began creating products made from these native offerings, using unique recipes created by Henry, in the hopes of educating people on the abundance of wild edibles provided by nature. Inspired to become beekeepers while Amber was at Texas State, we have had our own hives since 2018. We would rather keep our honey raw and unheated, so for our jams and jellies we are currently using honey from a local Austin company that is already heated.

When using honey, we found it works best to use a "no to low sugar" pectin. Honey is much sweeter by volume than sugar, so less is more! We start by preparing the fruit to our recipe. Once processed, we bring it to a boil. It is best to dissolve the pectin into a minimum amount of honey needed before adding it to the boiling fruit/juice. You can always add more of either if needed after you've tested and tasted the jelly and it comes back to a boil. Our recipe is usually 3/4 cup of honey to 4 cups of prepared fruit or juice, which ends up being 3 tablespoons per 8 ounce jar of jelly. We really want people to taste the wild fruit itself, so being able to make our jams and jellies with less added sweetness helps us accomplish that.

Our focus is to keep things local, and offer wild fruit with local honey to our direct community through Farmer's Markets. We know we cannot make these products on a mass scale, because we follow strict wildcrafting practices for sustainable harvesting from year to year, and we work with mother nature on what foods are abundant enough to harvest. Our main goal is to educate our local community about the benefits of adding wild foods to their diets. Foods that likely can be found in their own backyards! We also hope to inspire people around us to not see these wild plants as weeds or a nuisance, but as useful, delightful, interesting, and delicious additions to their landscapes!

Amber and Henry Herndon

Micro-Canning Jams
by Tanya Seibold | Chief Jammer and Jar Washer, Fourteen Magpies Handmade Jams & Preserves

Jam, at its most basic definition, is a universal term used to describe whole fruit(s) cut into pieces or crushed, then heated with water and sugar to activate its pectin before being put into containers. However, there's more to 'jam' than meets the mouth. ;>)

Here at Fourteen Magpies Handmade Jams & Preserves we’re practicing the age-old art of micro-canning. This is where each batch is lovingly produced by hand, in very small quantities. Depending on the fruit or vegetable, a typical batch yields 18-24 jars. For most small artisan jam makers, this micro-canning method ensures each pound of produce from a specific orchard or garden is canned as quickly as possible to literally preserve its fresh-from-the-earth characteristics. Micro-canning is best used to isolate and elevate distinct aromas, flavors and textures that would otherwise be lost amongst pounds and pounds of produce. The ratio of fruit/sugar/pectin is also critical when making small batch jam. The sugar and pectin (natural preservatives) need to be in high enough proportion to the fruits (solids) by total volume to get a good (and food-safe) “set”, yet not overpower the fruit’s essence. We’re always chasing the balance between sweet and tart, so our jams are never overly sugared. We believe the true flavor of the fruit should shine through in every bite.

Many small jam producers, like us, opt for the micro method using French copper jam pots to cook their heirloom fruits which converts the solids rapidly without damaging the texture and flavor. And, just like fine wine, the soil, topography, climate, and human touch—the terroir if you will—also play a critical role in the profile of the finished jam. In our 5.5-acre orchard for example, we have over 18 different varieties of plum trees growing, many planted in the late 1930s and early 40s. The wild plums growing in our Owl Orchard are the smallest and sweetest. The tiny cherry-size orbs are the first to ripen in late June and yield a lovely coral-hued jam with soft acidity and oodles and oodles of plum flavor. Whereas our Dog Run Orchard, a mere 15 feet away, also hosts wild plums, but they are the last in the season to ripen (typically in late August) and are also the plumpest and most tart. We jar each orchard separately (micro-canning!) to ensure each plum’s unique personality is forever captured to enjoy.

What warms our heart the most about micro-canning is the labor of love that’s shown by the jam maker to undertake such a fiddly task as working with each fruit in such small quantities. It obviously requires more actual batches to achieve the same jar-yield as a large-scale jam production, but it also translates into double the care in sorting and prepping the fruit, double the time cooking in a hot kitchen, and double the overall resources required to create a handmade treat so delicious as micro-batch jams.

We love seasonal jams on pastries and baked goods of course, but they’re amazing on savory items like grilled chicken, fish, cheese and charcuterie boards (a must!), and they are fantastic in cocktails for burst of real fruit flavor. Be sure to follow @fourteenmagpies for more jam pairings with food and drinks. We’re testing a slew of new cocktail recipes for summertime sipping; come join us!

FARMHOUSE KITCHEN RECIPES
You can find this recipe in The FarmMade Cookbook coming out July 20, 2021 (pre-order now!!). A time capsule of food, craft, and tradition, The FarmMade Cookbook shares seventy-five multi-generational recipes from farms all over the country. Hailing from New England, the Deep South, the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest, each authentic farm-made recipe represents its region’s unique farming culture. Recipes are paired with each farm’s unique story of resilience and connection with the land, resulting in a tangible agrarian gift to us all.
No-Pectin Blueberry Lime Jam
We, here at FarmMade, are continuously inspired by the seasonal rhythms and simple joys of farm life. Blueberry season in the Pacific Northwest is a blue-tiful time of year that always inspires us to scout out new varieties to grow ourselves or pick from local organic farms. This jam can be summer-in-a-jar if blueberries are joyfully picked and processed at the peak of freshness. We love pectin jams, but the absence of pectin in this recipe allows the jam to cook for a longer period of time and achieve a deeper flavor. This recipe also works well as a small-batch refrigerator or freezer jam and will complement any pantry or farm stand!

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 20 minutes
  • Processing time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Servings 4-6

Ingredients
4 1⁄2 cups blueberries
5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus zest to taste
1 teaspoon butter
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