John the jam man loves the sweet life
JOHN Anich has been jamming for decades – and he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Ever since Mr Anich and his wife Annette moved into their Newell Beach home in January 2000, they have slowly transformed their backyard into a one-stop shop for fruit and vegetables.
Growing in the spacious backyard are passionfruits, lemons, custard apples, pawpaws, pumpkins and cumquats.
But over the years Mr Anich, a retired pharmacist, has taken a particularly strong interest in jam-making.
Rosella and cumquat jams are the 82-year-old’s specialities.
“Annette’s mother came up one year, a long time ago, and said ‘why don’t you make jam?’” Mr Anich recalled.
“And it all just started from there.”
Every morning he spends about half an hour tending to the garden.
He expected his rosellas to begin flowering in about one month, and he will start picking them in April or May.
Mr Anich, who was born in Mossman, said he would make “a couple of hundred” jars of jam this year, most of which will be given away.
“I used to take them to school fetes but that became too hard with all the regulations around jam-making,” he said.
“But it’s still great fun and gives me another thing to do — life can be really busy.”
Mr Anich said he was taught to be resourceful from an early age, having grown up on a Cassowary cane farm during World War II.
“Money was tight, and about once a week a few farmers would get together and go into town for some basic groceries,” he said.