The New Fruit Cellar


I took this picture through a basement window.
I took this picture through a basement window.

In case you’ve been wondering why I haven’t written in so long, I’ll explain: We’ve been moving. This has involved renovating a little old bungalow, cleaning out a big house, a two-story garage, and a large barn, selling or giving away half of what was left after burglars took a good share, and fitting everything we couldn’t part with into our new, cozy digs. The 2015 vintage alone, in carboys, filled the trailer. The canned goods from the garage barely fit into the bed of a large pickup; we moved the hundreds of jars from the pantry in separate trips. Happily, the basement of the bungalow came with an old preserving cupboard. It’s taken me months, but I finally have all the shelves filled, organized, and labeled.

What you don’t see in the picture are the dozens of older jars of jams, jellies, and syrups that wouldn’t fit in the cupboard. I’ll probably make them into wine–but we have plenty of that. Maybe I’ll just feed them to the ever-ravenous soldier fly larvae in my compost.

14 thoughts on “The New Fruit Cellar”

  1. My goodness! What a sight for the eyes, and most likely for the stomach as well! Does your family actually eat that much in one year? Or do you give a lot of it away? I feel good when I make 1.5 kg of strawberries and 1.5 kg of figs into jam, put up about 10 kg of tomatoes, and pickle a kg of veggies each year!

    1. Even with lots of gift giving and with holiday sales, we haven’t nearly kept up. That’s part of the reason for a move to a smaller place: I’ll have less produce to process.

  2. Linda, that cupboard is truly impressive. Beautiful! And for goodness sake, don’t feel your jam etc. to the soldier fly!! It will still be good 10 years from now…

  3. I so agree with megbortin. It is a travesty, in my opinion, to EVER throw away food that is edible. If you don’t want it, find a food pantry or folks somewhere who will gladly eat it. I once found a friend dumping all of the previous year’s blackberry jam so she could put fresh in the jars!! Jam IS fresh forever. Some of our cherished times as a family were eating Nana’s jam- long after she had passed on. And i once got a dozen jars of beautiful canned cherries some one put at the end of their drive with a free sign on them! PLEASE find a way to share. If I did not live far away, I would offer to help you with them. Great site and glad to have you back!

    1. Sadly, food pantries won’t take home-canned food, not even jam. But neither wine nor even compost is garbage, and either option allows me to reuse my jars. Keep in mind that I experiment for a living, and not all my experiments turn out wonderful.

  4. Yum! Congrats on move! Sorry about burglars–that was in Scio? Hope they didn’t get Becca’s beautiful artwork. Wish I could relieve you of some of those older jars. Gorgeous pantry!

    1. Actually, my husband is the winemaker of the family, so I will have to get his help in making this happen. Basically, though, I think I’ll combine the jams and jellies and syrups with water, and after some time check the sugar level with a hydrometer and add more water and yeast. Then proceed as usual.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *