The school holidays are over, the evenings are getting darker and colder, the hedgerows are bursting with fruit so once again my thoughts have turned to jam making. So far I have collected rowan berries from the tree in the garden. These are in the freezer to help to sweeten them. I've collected elderberries from the hedgerows and made some fabulous elderberry cordial - it was a real labour of love, 2kg of fruit yielded five small bottles and it took hours to take the all the stalks off, even with a fork. I also made some elderberry sauce which apparently tastes at its best after seven, yes seven, years so we haven't tried any yet. I've made masses of strawberry jam, the local farm shop was selling off trays of misshapen fruit.
We have masses of marrows in the garden which will be turned into marrow chutney and possibly marrow and ginger jam. That's my project for this evening. I'm waiting for the crab apples to drop so I can make crab apple jelly to which I will add the rowan berries. Soon the blackberries will be ripe - bramble jelly (so good with scones), blackberry cordial and lots of frozen berries to follow! My little girl adores a handful of blackberries with her cereal in the morning and is getting very impatient, so far she has only managed to gather a few handfuls.
The big difference this year is that rather than just eating all the jams and jellies ourselves and sharing with friends I'm hoping to sell some too. This blog will record my progress - and probably some other ramblings on bees, dogs, chickens, sheep, pigs and children too.