Friday, May 8, 2009
When the pianist and I moved to Lotus City in the 60's the adjacent farmland was dotted with loganberry farms supplying the fruit wine industry locally and the jam factory on Sinclair Hill. Now the jam factory is an unused heritage relic and the Logana Winery is converted to a heritage structure housing an upscale steak eatery. All jam is now imported from industrial manufacturers except for minor cottage industries.. The grape growers and vintners, primarily large franchise holders, have displaced the local loganberry farms. This part of the world was prime country for loganberries and never was prime country for wine grapes. They produce pretty fair wines from specialized stock but they will never compete with quality world wide on a significant scale. We grow a world class quality with some soft fruit varieties and some heritage tree varieties. Why don't we stick to what we can produce of excellence ? We won't though ! Tastes have changed. Still,we can better compete in the long term with what we do best, not second best! I suppose we have to live with industrial farms and industrial food manufacturing! But, what the heck! Yesterday I made loganberry/tayberry jelly,13 jars from our berries. I missed the jel-point and bottled too soon so I had to dismantle the seals and reboil. It's a bit harder to gel than some fruits as the loganberries have little pectin. My grandmother never added pectin, and the pianist's mother didn't either, but she could assess the critical jel-point to the second. "Lightly jelled" was the mantra for optimum achievement. I also made 20 , 2cup bags of logan/tay juice. The pianist makes a logan berry juice merange pie after the manner of a lemon merange pie. Delicious and pungent for a party treat. Logan and tayberries are easy to grow if you have room on your fence. They are more piquant than the Himalayan black berry that is here in abundance. It thrives in the ditches and is heartily extolled for it's mellowness by the devotees who make blackberry pies or blackberry apple pies. The Himalayan has it's role and is free for the taking! It's sort of satisfying to be small scale and know you have a year's worth of eating from your hand and the knowledge of what the contents consist of!