Since 2004, Rachel, Martin, Keith and Lindsay have been growing their own food, planting a Forest Garden, making apple juice and cider at Old Sleningford Farm . Over the years, the amount of produce has increased to more than the four of them can eat themselves, and coupled with the huge amount of wild food growing around the farm has meant the fresh produce could have gone to waste. Luckily, they have plenty of friends, family and volunteers more than willing to share the harvest with them. But with overflowing freezers, it was time to try some different ways of preserving the food. In 2009, Rachel started trialling different jams, chutneys, cordials and other interesting concoctions on visitors to the farm, with some great feedback, and so she decided to take it one step further and in 2010 Old Sleningford Preserves was born.
The preserves are made with whatever fruit, vegetables and wild food are available - basically whatever is in season. Sometimes there will be a glut, which will mean lots of preserves made from that produce. Occasionally, one-off special preserves will be made when the harvest isn't as bountiful. And because Old Sleningford Preserves is a CSA, members receive a share of the produce. This means the preserves won't be sold by a defined weight, but in different sized jars and bottles.
Each year the variety of preserves may be different, but here's some examples:
- Jam - Strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, gooseberry, blackcurrant, plum, damson.
- Chutney - apple, plum, gooseberry, rhubarb, damson, plum, marrow, pumpkin.
- Sauce or relish - tomato, apple, plum, horseradish, sweet chilli.
- Pesto - wild garlic, rocket.
- Jelly - redcurrant, bramble & apple, mint.
- Fruit Curd - rhubarb, gooseberry, blackcurrant.
- Mixed fruit compote.
- Cordial - Elderflower, mixed summer fruit, blackcurrant.
- Fruit and herb infused vinegar and oil.
- Apple Juice.
Old Sleningford Farm is not certified organic, but no chemicals are used on any of the fruit and vegetables. To see the ingredients used in each preserve, click here .