The pandemic brought boredom for many of us and from that emerged great creativity. Some of us baked sourdough, others made salsa, our family made jelly from things we found in the yard.
Our yard is very full of plants of all kinds and most we didn’t plant. Some were here when we moved in and others have rooted themselves over the years, growing all sorts of colourful things. In the summer of the pandemic when boredom hit, we decided we should try making some things out of them. We gathered up what we now know were rhubarb, crab apples, and chokecherries, and decided they would all go into the pot and become what is now affectionately known as “Yard Jam”.
A family affair, we had fun picking things, to boiling, boiling, and boiling everything again, and making the label on the jars. We gave our Yard Jam to friends and family as gifts proudly for Christmas. They were quick to point out our “Yard Jam” was actually jelly. We knew this of course, but Yard Jam just sounded weirder. And boy was that first pandemic year weird, and so was the jelly. So the name stuck. We did it again the next year and will probably do it again this year. Like working from home, and grocery delivery, Yard Jam may be one pandemic habit that stays for us.
If you’ve ever thought of making your own jam, but don’t have the yard, there are lots of U-pick farms across the province such as:
I’ve also found these sites yield the most fruit (pun intended) if you’re looking to find more options near you!
Berry season begins in July. Most farms will post what they have ready online so you can monitor and know when to go.
If making your own jelly just isn’t your jam but you’re on board for eating it, you can also pick up some “homemade” preserves at your local farmer’s market or artisan reseller such as Saskatoon’s SaskMade Marketplace or Handmade Saskatchewan in Regina.
Did you make something weird during the pandemic? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, it could be the subject of our next blog!
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