Rebecca lives in East Oxford and is a woman of many talents! With a passion for growing, she has had an allotment since 2001. Growing raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, rhubarb, five varieties of plums and four varieties of apples – not to mention ample numbers at the moment of pumpkins – you can appreciate her motivation to make preserves from this wonderful bounty!
2015 has been a good year for plums and the soft fruit crops are generally good every year. She also has a very productive fig tree in her garden with blackberries and damsons there for everyone to pick from the hedgerows. “The problem with growing fruit is that it all ripens at once, and unless you freeze it, you have to use it very quickly. I like to make my jam with freshly picked fruit, where possible, which makes August the busiest month” Rebecca told us.
All the jam is made with nothing but fruit and (Fair Trade) sugar, with the addition of a little lemon juice and apple pectin for certain fruits to help them set. After making the jam in batches of 3lbs of fruit at a time, Rebecca sits and draws the pictures on each label. “I think my love of fruit and jam comes from growing up in the Vale of Evesham. We were always picking fruit and my mum made lots of jam, which as a child, I loved to eat above all else”. Interestingly Rebecca is related to Mrs Beeton and is itching to try out some of her recipes from an early preserves book she’s just been given – so watch this space!
We’ve tasted the huge array of Jam’s and Chutneys that Rebecca has made (It’s a tough job!) – from Raspberry to Fig, Plum and Ginger to Pumpkin Chutney- and we know that Rebecca’s mum must be very proud as they are so yummy and fruity.