Several members of the Community Garden came together last week on Tuesday, July 29, to learn the basics of preparing and canning preserves, compotes and jams of all kinds. Under the tutelage of Greg Reppucci, professor of Natural Sciences at North Shore Community College (NSCC), the group of gardeners made Blackberry-Raspberry Jam, Fig-Orange-Pistachio Conserve, Strawberry Rhubarb Compote, and Zucchini Relish. They put up more than 160 jars of fruit preserves.
The event was a planned workshop, along with the Jordan Boys and Girls Club parents, called ‘Canning Summer Fruits.’ It was part of the year-long ‘Year of the Fruit’ workshops that have focused on teaching gardeners to grow their own fruits.
Over the past five years, the Chelsea Community Garden has expanded from 20 to 45 families. Gardeners have experimented with growing all types of fruit in the common areas of the garden. In that time, they’ve planted blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, strawberries, two apple trees and a plum tree and grape vines (a white and a concord).
The Year of the Fruit workshops are planned to teach gardeners how to grow, tend and harvest these fruits. Check out their blog, facebook and website for more information.