- Posted By: Felicia Friesema
- Written by: Felicia Friesema
We're really lucky here in Los Angeles County. Most farmers markets across the country only recently opened for business for the year, running on a tight seasonal harvest schedule. Here in LA? We harvest year-round and our farmers markets are open from January to December.
"Putting up" is a constant activity here - pickling Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and cabbage in December; hot packing carrots and beets at their peak flavor in January; freezing persimmon puree and juicing pomegranates in November; and let's not forget all the winter citrus heading into marmalades, getting juiced, or flavoring myriad liqueurs and beers.
That said, things do tend to pick up a bit when May rolls into view. The first of the stone fruits - sour plums and cherries - hit the tables in mid-May. And let's not forget mulberries, though how could we when so many trees dot our neighborhoods, sometimes providing a free harvest. And now, we're just starting to see peaches and plums. It's going to be a busy summer. The colder-than-usual winter we had this year gave all the stone fruit trees plenty of rest time and now are producing some record setting fruit harvests.
To get you started, here's a super simple recipe from The National Center for Home Food Preservation. Happy summer!
Plum Jam (without added pectin)
- 2 quarts chopped tart plums (about 4 pounds)
- 6 cups sugar
- 1½ cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
Yield: About 8 half-pint jars
Procedure: Sterilize canning jars. Combine all ingredients; bring slowly to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to, or almost to, the jellying point (which is 8°F above the boiling point of water, or 220°F at sea level). Stir constantly to prevent sticking or burning. (See Testing Jelly Without Added Pectin.)
Pour hot jam into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner - five minutes if you are at 0-1000 feet, 10 for 1001-6000 feet./h2>/span>/span>/h2>