The Jam Maker’s Garden: An Interview by Lulu Burt

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

I LOVE fruit. I love growing it. I love eating it. And I love cooking with it. So I was really pleased to be sent a copy of “The Jam Maker’s Garden”. I was also really lucky to be able to ask the clever author, Holly Farrell, some pretty cool questions all about her book. So read on to find out what I asked her as well as a lovely idea for a teacher’s gift…

Jam Maker's Garden

So Holly, what is your favourite fruit to grow in the garden?
Probably raspberries, though it changes as each new fruit comes into season!

Yum, I love raspberries, they are my favourite too. What would you say the easiest fruit would be for beginners to grow?
Strawberries- they’re easy to come by and easy to grow. Plus you get a lifetime’s supply of new plants from the runners off the first plants.

If you have a teeny garden, what sort of fruit would you recommend trying?
Strawberries are the smallest plants, but currants only take about a square metre of space for masses of fruit and breeders are always bringing out new, more compact plants like raspberries for pots.

Jam recipes

Yes, we have a lovely little pot packed full of strawberries in our garden which hardly takes up any space at all. Now, in Scotland we finish up for our school holidays next week (woo hoo!) I think making something home-made would be a lovely present for a teacher at the end of term, what would you recommend making?

For the end of June, strawberry jam, for July definitely raspberry. Adding a little twist like strawberry and thyme or raspberry and rose pelargonium really makes it personal. A hand designed label would be nice too!

Ooh, they sound lovely and really different. What’s your favourite recipe in your book?
I can never answer that question! Every season brings it’s own favourites, and I’m greedy!

Ha ha, I’m sometimes greedy too! What’s your top tip for making jams?
Don’t worry too much about the technicalities- follow the recipe and it’s hard to go wrong.

We hear a lot about how sugar is bad for us these days. Does that mean we shouldn’t eat jam too?
We should absolutely be careful about how much sugar we eat – half a jar on toast every day would not be good! I’m not a nutritionist or a dietician but I think with some common sense jam can be enjoyed as the delicious treat that it is.

Jam recipes

Yup, I definitely agree Holly!  Now, final question, what do you grow in your own garden?
I have a relatively small courtyard garden and everything is either edible or can be used as cut flowers. I’ve got raised beds with the usual veggies, lots of herbs, currant bushes, raspberries and strawberries and some fruit trees in large pots, amongst other things!

Thanks for that Holly. I LOVE the fact that everything in your garden can be used somehow.

The Jam Maker’s Bible by Holly Farrell is out now, RRP £17.99. It is a lovely hardback book packed with amazing photos by Jason Ingram. There are deelish recipes for every kind of fruit you can imagine as well as great tips for growing them. If you like jam then this is one for you!

Lulu x

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