Article and photos by Penny Woodward

Juicy red strawberries


I have just spread cow manure around my strawberries and mulched with lucerne hay. And I added some pine needles collected from the block behind us. Although our soil is already slighty acid, strawberries love acidic soil, so I spoil them with a dusting of pine needles. I love the way the strawberries appear at the same time as the petals of the luscious red roses. The perfect combination for one of my favourite jams. I only make this in small jars because it seems too precious to eat in bulk. The flavour is true stawberry with ephemeral flavours of the fragrant red petals. Anyway, here is the recipe, and you have plenty of time to make them so you can parcel them up as unique and special Christmas presents.


Rose petal and strawberry jam

Rose petal and strawberry jam
2½ cups fragrant dark red rose petals
1½ cups strawberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of cream of tartar
small jars with lids

1. Pull the white bases from the rose petals and discard.
2. Cut or pull the hull from each strawberry and cut each strawberry in half.
3. Put the water and sugar into a saucepan, add the rose petals, strawberries, lemon juice and cream of tartar.
4. Bring slowly to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then boil rapidly until the setting point is reached (at least 20 minutes).
5. Pour the jam into clean hot jars and seal.