Neighbours invited us to pick their greengage plums, which were so ripe they dripped off the tree. Sunshine and I headed over and began our work. We started with the fruit he could reach on the ground and low branches then I climbed the tree to release more as he scrambled around collecting the decent ones. Although our neighbours’ friends had already collected two large shopping bags worth, we ended up collecting the same amount, with the canopy layer untouched for the birds to feast.
We pitted and processed as many as we could over the next three days, as the very ripe fruit quickly turned. I was very proud to sit with Sunshine as we pitted plums and discussed how we’d harvested them. Having some plums bonk him on the head and how high I climbed were favourite stories of his to recount. We talked about seeds, harvesting and foraging, and preserving summer produce for the winter and to make gifts. Simple conversations, led by him, that so directly reflect our values.
Over three days, I made 36 jars of jam.
- 6 jars- plum butter (sugar)
- 14 jars spiced apple plum jam (sugar). Cinnamon and ginger
FOR HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION
- 3 jars, hot water bath canned, of spiced apple plum jam. Used honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, and ginger.
- 10 jars spiced apple plum jam with cinnamon & ginger. Honey sweetened, with pectin.
- 3 jars spiced plum (trace apple) jam with cinnamon & green cardamom. Coconut sugar sweetened, with pectin.
I’ve had success with honey sweetened jam preserving fine in the past but know that the honey and coconut sugar ones are a gamble (which is why they’re not going to be gifted). All being well (and unspoiled) we’ll eat the honey first, then the coconut sugar, followed by the canned jars which I know will keep.