THE JAM MAKER’S GARDEN
Put simply, jam (and chutney) is the currency of choice for many countryside transactions. Who can bemoan a garnetdeep cherry preserve or sharply nostalgic colonial chutney when proffered in return for some minor service or as a hostess gift? Now it can go too far, a particular batch of pear (from an immense glut) and vanilla jam my sister made became famous for lurking at the back of countless cupboards. But that was a blip in her otherwise exemplary potting career. I blame the sheer volume produced.
Most jam books do not start with the garden. Which is odd because that should be the jam-maker’s beginning. Farrell’s book is well-presented and informative, starting with a preparation section, then notes on the garden and kitchen, before launching into the seasonal sections on fruit and vegetables. Each jam or chutney (or herb) has its own growing instructions and then how to turn it into something delicious. Instructions are clear and useful, even to the seasoned jam-maker.
So whether you need advice on when to prune your plums or the best way of making blackcurrant jam, let Farrell’s excellent handbook guide you. By Holly Farrell
Photographs by Jason Ingram Frances Lincoln, £18