Welcome to 510 Fruits

510 Fruits came into existence because I love fruit and foraging and jam making. I love the bounty of seasonal produce and I came to love canning and jam making when I learned how hard it is to actually use all the fruit from a tree when it ripens. After processing my own backyard fruit, I began to see fruit everywhere I went. Thus the initiation into forage. Foraging in my neighborhood has taught me about the often overlooked bounty of our streets and backyards and has been a great way to meet neighbors, build community, and more efficiently share in the season's offerings.

As my love of fruit and jam has become an obsession, the stack of jam in my house has grown to waist high and wobbly. I realized I needed a way to get the jam out of my house as fast as I seem to be making it. Thus 510 Fruits and this attempt to share the variety of locally foraged and harvested fruits I have made into jams, marmalades, fruit butters and canned. Selling is not about making money, but just about covering the cost of jars and ingredients so that I can go on making more jam.

On the label, the byline "local forage" means the fruit is foraged from my yard, friends' and neighbors' yards, and streetside. The byline "local harvest" means I picked the produce at a local u-pick farm. Names also include more specific information, usually the street name of where the fruit originated.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Great Tree Shake Down--Apples, Pears, and Pineapple Guavas

The past 72 hours have been a jam making and canning blitz!

First, a final harvest of a neighbor's pineapple guava tree. It was a duck and cover operation--a firm shake down of the tree brought pineapple guavas raining down throughout the yard.
Pineapple guavas are a fantastic fruit--small and oval with a tart green peel and a soft, gelatinous, whitish flesh. You can actually eat the whole thing, although most people prefer just the sweeter inside flesh. The flavor is like other varieties of guava but the texture is part banana. I've been experimenting with both jam (inside flesh only) and marmalade (peel and flesh). This harvest yielded a dozen jars of creamy jam.

Then, a trip to a friend's land up in the Anderson Valley. Fall in the Valley is thick with the smells of ripe apples and wood smoke. Two old apple trees provided a few bushel baskets of windfall (with a little help from another generous shake-down).
We cranked out the cider press and sampled the range of juices the different apples produced--from sugar sweet to tart.
The fresh pressed cider makes a great juice for canning so I made a trip across the road to a larger orchard for pears, added a little lemon juice, cinnamon sticks and orange zest, and canned two dozen jars of cider poached pears. Delicious!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, the squishy white insides of pineapple guava, how I love you!! Thank you, Sonya, for introducing me to this fruit, fresh and in a jar.