Jam Session: Damson Plums

| Preserving | 14 comments | Author :

damson jam1

Damsons are a much-loved preserving variety of plum, and with good reason. They’re intensely beautiful with their indigo skins and pale bloom, and their astringency means that the jam they make is divine.

I was at Allsun Farm this week hosting our autumn Organic Market Garden Masterclass, and the damson tree by the back door was ready to drop. Time for a jam session, alongside the weekend’s action of growing new growers. 

Damsons on the tree at Allsun Farm
Damsons on the tree at Allsun Farm
The damson de-seeding machine
The damson de-seeding machine
Slow but steady de-seeding party. Good company and a glass of red helps...
Slow but steady de-seeding party. Good company and a glass of red helps…
only 7kg to go!
only 7kg to go!
Joyce's damson jam recipe of choice
Joyce’s damson jam recipe of choice
Joyce Wilkie stirring 40 liters of jam at midnight after teaching a class of future growers in the full sun for two days. What a woman.
Joyce Wilkie stirring 40 liters of jam, at midnight, after teaching a class of future growers in the full sun for two days. What a woman.
Keep stirring and don't look back.
Keep stirring and don’t look back.
Damson Jam! A year's supply and enough for everyone. And their friends.
Damson Jam! A year’s supply and enough for everyone. And their friends.

Missing from these photos is the excellent Olivier Sofo who not only catered for 30+ people for 3 days but also simultaneously presided over the taks of making damson jam (and a big batch of green tomato relish besides). With all ingredients coming off Allsun Farm.

Being a part of this extended family of growers, teachers, cook and makers is the best bit of this journey called Milkwood, for me.

Generations of knowledge and know-how and skills and dreams and new ideas, all flowing through kitchens and classrooms and farms and cities. All part of a vast and righteous network of people whose goals in life are all about cultivating abundance, skills, community and futures.

That’s what’s in this jar, aside from the plums and the sugar and the hours of stirring. It’s simplicity, happiness, and hope. And it’s made for sharing.

>> More posts about food + preserving

damson jam1

See the comments

Related Posts

How to make Passata

Storing the season for year-round stews of organic tomatoey goodn . .
Read More

Making Water Kefir (how to get your household hooked on prob

We're loving learning the techniques of getting living foods int . .
Read More

Photos from our Passata Day

Here's some photos from the downright awesome Passata Day we had . .
Read More


0 responses to “Jam Session: Damson Plums

  1. Aha! I see you had a rather funky “olive pipping machine” to get the stones out! Saves a lot of grief – we have a small hand-held olive pipper that we use (but it breaks after about 10kg). The “stones to the surface” method is second best, I think, although it does work.

  2. Nothing like a late night preserving session to make you wonder if it’s all worth it! It’s only mid winter that you come around I reckon. People often say “oh you should value add your produce” I prefer to go to bed. The day is long enough as is. Olivier, Joyce and Kirsten machines all.

  3. Davidsonia jerseyana, which is classed as endangered is available at Sydney Wildflower Nursery Heathcote in tubestock. They even mailorder. I want one so I can make beautiful jam like that!

  4. Do you grow your own sugar at the farm? I just wonder because the quote above “…making damson jam (and a big batch of green tomato relish besides). With all ingredients coming off Allsun Farm.” It would be pretty cool to grow sugar cane!

  5. I just found a damson tree growing in our local district as we were walking the dogs. The only fruit tree that the possums had backed away from and that was covered from top to bottom with those gorgeous blue blushed bloomy fruits and I got Steve to pinch some for me and they are fermenting in the shed as I type this comment ready to be grown and planted out on Serendipity Farm. I know a wise food forest choice when I see one! I have sloes to grow as well and will be using both for fruit and habitat on the peripheral zones of Serendipity Farm here in Northern Tas. Love the recipe and will gift it to future residents of Serendipity Farm along with the property when we leave (son and partner 😉 ) along with the gift of something to eat every day of the year 🙂

  6. Have you tried to preserve these in your American Canner?

    My wife, Colleen, saw this and just said… YUMMO… We don’t see these here in Manchester, UK. We miss Aussie fruits. Been here 16.5 years now. See what happens over the next few years 😉

      1. Damson Plums are the “these” I was referring to. I wondered if you had brought some back to Milkwood to preserve in your new American Pressure Cooker? Is Mudgee still in the Hunter Valley? It lists it as being in the Hunter when we search for rural land for sale. Mudgee and Windeyer..? Off topic… Sorry.

    1. David – check out ‘Abundance’ Manchester! An army of volunteers on the forage for fruit in the autumn that’s just dropping and going to waste, particularly from people’s back gardens, allotments etc. They then preserve or give away. If you’re particularly keen on damsons they’ll help you find some! Also just as delicious and FREE are blackberries which are just coming into season. They make an amazing jam.

Leave a Reply