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The Jam Shed

We are a small family run preserves company based in the wonderful rolling countryside on the Essex/Suffolk border.

Libby and her husband, Ted, started growing, picking and preserving when Libby could no longer work as a management consultant due to illness. It reawakened a passion kindled in her as a child, brought up on a smallholding in Wales, being taught to cook by her mother whilst standing on a chair at the Aga. Time spent with Ted’s family on the remote, mountainous sheep farm in South Africa taught her different preserving techniques and how to make the best of what is seasonal and around us. Many of us have lost this skill since the advent of air freight and supermarkets ensured that fruit and vegetables are no longer seasonal and as a result food has often lost its flavour.

We seek to reawaken the love of local preserves by using our wonderful seasonal local produce.

Fruit grown in season has more flavour and if used when as fresh as possible that flavour is preserved. This is why we use home grown or locally produced and foraged fresh ingredients whenever possible, resorting to local markets for citrus and exotic fruits only. This means that we don’t need to use additives and flavour enhancers. We do not use sprays or chemicals in our garden and only use fruit from other sources which also do not use chemicals.

We have such wonderful fruit in this area, why use ingredients which are flown in? For example, we have found that our Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly is a brilliant, healthy and local alternative to Cranberry Jelly with poultry or pork at Christmas.

We still use maslin pans and make small batches to ensure a high quality – so we are definitely a member of the slow food movement. We use what is around us, so if there is a glut of anything, we come up with new flavour ideas. This means that our product list is changing all the time both as we are seasonal and as new flavours come in and run out.

Credit and debit cards welcome!