Have Fruit, Will Can It: Bernal Neighbor Will Transform Your Surplus Produce Into Tasty Treats



This is so great. If you have fruit trees on your Bernal Heights property, Neighbor Deborah from Montcalm Street is prepared to make an offer that’s hard to refuse: She will turn surplus produce from your fruit trees into tasty treats… and share the bounty with you.

Neighbor Deborah tells Bernalwood:

Summer is almost here! Or at least what passes for summer in San Francisco. Ripening fruit is hiding in plain sight on sidewalk trees, and I suspect much more is tucked away in back yards; more than the owners can eat.

I’ve decided to try a new project. I’ve been a home canner and bread baker for years, mainly for gifts and charitable fundraising. I’ve started to notice the fruit trees in our neighborhood, on the streets and in people’s back yards. I have a hunch much of that fruit is likely going to waste, so I thought I’d contact neighbors to see if people are interested in giving away some of their fruit in exchange for a few jars of whatever I can produce from it.

If you have a fruit tree that’s giving more than you know what to do with, I’m happy to take the produce and turn it into jam, sauce, or some other treat-in-a-jar and return a few jars to you in exchange. What better way to eat locally?

If you have fruit to share, please contact me at sfbernaljam *AT* gmail *DOT* com.

PHOTOS: Some of Neighbor Deborah’s fruity handiwork, via Neighbor Deborah

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16 Responses to Have Fruit, Will Can It: Bernal Neighbor Will Transform Your Surplus Produce Into Tasty Treats

  1. kc! Bradshaw says:

    what a GREAT idea! may just take them up on it too… first I would like to try my own hand at canning and preserving too. Any good places to get a neighbor started?

  2. Smiley Dan says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! I am guessing our pears and apples are common but since we don’t eat many of them this is a wonderful community experiment and outlet for under utilized fruit.

  3. incognitajr says:

    This is the biggest relief – we had so many plums go into the compost bin last year. Thank you!

  4. Sounds cool! We turn our plums into jam each year, but we don’t have any other fruit trees. Could I trade a small jar of sugar plum jam for someone else’s canned treat?

  5. colin says:

    What a great idea !

  6. Jaime Ross says:

    This is one of the best ideas I’ve heard of in a very long time…it keeps everything local and scrumptious..
    we have a plum tree and we usually have someone from the city come and pick them because there’s just so much fruit a girl can eat…but this is an even better option – we will definitely contact you as soon as they’re ripe.

  7. Deborah says:

    So glad people are excited about this! Thanks for the support. kc!: Happy Girl Kitchen Co runs some great classes in Oakland, San Francisco, and elsewhere; I’ve taken several of their workshops and they are a great place to learn. Smiley Dan: So far I’m hearing about plums; let me know when your pears are ready! I made a pear jam recently and I’d like to try making a less sweet version…

    • Kseniya says:

      Pear butter is a great solution for excess pears, here’s a link to a recipe that’s not too sweet at all (in fact, I double this recipe but only use the amount of sugar specified for one batch. Other edits – I add a shot of bourbon for a lovely subtle undertone.) I made four or five batches from this recipe last year to gift, still had people asking for more! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spiced-Pear-Butter-2789

    • kc! Bradshaw says:

      Beautiful! Thank you. One more question: when canning (or is it jarring?) is there a good resource for finding BPA-free lids and glass jars? Also labels, are there good ones that aren’t as sticky so it isn’t a pain to remove/reuse?

    • GreenGirl (Smiley Dan's girlfriend) says:

      Hi Deborah. We’ve got loads of pears! I’m emailing you!

  8. Smurf says:

    GREAT idea! Where can we buy the finished products? (I think I’ve seen your wares in Avedanos? At least, I think I bought a jar of that strawberry/balsamic/black pepper jam there.)

    • Deborah says:

      Nothing for sale right now, this is all a neighborly exchange. Avedano’s sells Blue Chair Fruit’s jam, and I think they do a strawberry/balsamic jam, so that might be what you have! They also sell Emmy’s products, and they use “typewritten” labels like these. Perhaps this could turn into a business one day…it would be an honor to have something on the shelves of Avedano’s!

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