About our Marmalades
All of our marmalades and preserves are homemade in the true sense of the word. Most of the fruit we use is grown on our own farm, and it is always fully ripe before we pick it. To achieve the very finest quality, we make our preserves in very small batches without the addition of pectin or any artificial ingredients. The result of our old-fashioned cooking method is a very fresh and richly-flavored product, far superior to any mass-produced preserves.
Where we began
My mother (Mary) blames me (Catherine) for the start of our business, because I was the one that reminded her of the wonderful preserves she made while we were growing up. She will tell you that she grew up in Vermont where her mother taught her at a very early age how to can and make preserves to store for the long cold winters. (I think it is in her bones to do this.)
My mom and dad moved to Santa Barbara in 1980 where they bought one of the early farmhouses in the area which came with a small orchard. After selling fresh fruit from the orchard at the local certified farmers' market since 1981....my mother decided (after a bit of prodding from me) that we would turn some of the fresh fruit into fine homemade preserves and marmalades. So, she set out to develop the best and freshest tasting recipes that would bring out the true flavor of the fruit. This meant there could be no compromise on the very small size of her batches and it meant no pectin or artificial ingredients, just fruit and sugar cooked down the old fashioned way in eight-quart pots.
To meet the standards of the local health department, we rented space in a commercial kitchen, but the hauling of 25# bags of sugar, bushels of fruit, cases of jars, cookpots, and all the rest became old very fast. So we set out to get approval for a commercial kitchen right on the farm behind the main house. How nice it is to run out to the orchard, pick the fruit, take it directly into the kitchen and turn it into preserves. Together, we keep our little kitchen busy.
Where we are today
Today, my mother continues to farm organically, harvesting fruit year round. After 21 years of hauling, setting up and selling at the local farmers' markets (as many as 3 per week) and 9 1/2 years of making and selling preserves she has retired. (Bless her heart!)
However, Catherine (Cat) continues to make marmalade and jams from the fruit at the farm. She was put on the waiting list for the Santa Barbara Farmer's Markets since the day her mother went to Tucson, even though she continues to run the family farm since her dad passed in 1997 and is a Senior membor of the SBCFMA.
Over the recent years Cat is now making sugar-free versions that match up to and surpass the taste and quality of the cane sugar versions. Find these products under the "Duchess of Wellington" label available online at Gleeka.com
|©Santa Barbara Live-1999|
|©Santa Barbara Live-1999|
|see more about us at santabarbaralive.com|