In September 2016 my family and I moved from London to Surrey to enjoy countryside living and to inhabit more space for my three children to thrive. When my husband’s parents visited our new house, my mother in law noticed the Quince Tree in the garden and was keen that the ripe Quince not go to waste, so she suggested that I made Quince Jelly.
Having just moved house, the children starting new school, and both of us working full time, I laughed and said I wouldn’t have a clue or the time and said she could have the Quince.
So my mother in law went home and made Quince Jelly for me on the condition that I do it the following year, and she gave me her recipe. I duly did as instructed in September 2017, and I was pleasantly surprised at the success of my efforts, and how much I enjoyed the process.
From there, my hobby of jam and jelly making evolved. I found myself getting a huge amount of satisfaction from the process, and enjoying a creative flair that I did not realise I had.
I started giving my produce to friends, and I enjoyed experimenting and creating different flavours. A friend suggested that I should take a stall at my school fair in 2019, which I thought was a bit ambitious, however it turned out to be a great success. Subsequently, my local butcher has agreed to take some jellies to sell in his shops.
And so Long Acre Preserves was created, with the aim of using local produce, in season (as much as possible), to hand create with love, batches of jams and jellies in my family kitchen. Very kind family and friends have offered to keep me supplied with various produce of their own in return for pots of jam.
Local, Quality and sustainability
I create all my products by hand at home.
When possible, I use produce from my own garden, or those of my generous friends and family, as well as the local rural hedgerows.
The local resource the Leatherhead Community Fridge is also great, not just for people in need of a food bank, but to help reduce food wastage. Lots of local businesses are signed up, and I have been able to make use of fresh fruit that would otherwise have gone to waste through this.
I do not use any artificial preservatives or colourings in my products. There is at least 50% fruit in my jams, earning them the label “extra” jam.
Because I make small batches, when produce is in season, every batch is slightly different (perhaps in taste, colour or consistency), and I enjoy experimenting with different flavours to create new products.
I try to make a difference to the environment, so if you are local and happy to keep your jars for me to reuse that would be great. Some jars also have thick wax seals rather than waxed paper, and I can reuse these too.