John the jam man loves the sweet life

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Hay­den Smith

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.

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