Aunt Becky’s has a few basic goals besides making addicting jam.
Local Family-Owned Farms
First goal, support local, family-owned farms. Farms are awesome! The farmers are always friendly, willing to swap recipes and suggestions and tell you where you’re most likely to find fruit if you waited too late in the season to pick raspberries. Plus, there’s just nothing more delicious than fresh fruit right off the tree or vine.
Grown or Made in America
Second goal, if a local product is not available, use a product that’s grown or made in America. Finding American-made products can be a little tricky, but it is possible.
Third, use non GMO (non genetically modified organisms) ingredients whenever possible.
What’s in the jar includes….
Aunt Becky’s uses Kerr jars. These little beauties have been filled with all kinds of yummy, jammy goodness.
Fruit is picked at or purchased from local farms in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Citrus fruit doesn’t grow in Oregon, so the next best thing is small, family-owned farms in California.
- There’s only one company in the US that grows and produces cane sugar for retail sale. Florida Crystals is the US’ first fully integrated sugar company, which means they perform the whole process from sugar cane fields to table.
- Aunt Becky’s special jam, fruit butter, marmalads and sauce is made from Florida Crystals organic cane sugar and demerara cane sugar (similar to brown sugar).
- Pectin is used as a thickening agent in jams. Certain fruits, like apples, are naturally high in pectin. Pectin is most often made from fruit peels like apples and citrus fruits.
- Aunt Becky’s special jams, fruit butters and sauces are made from Pacific Pectin’s non GMO pectin.
Occasionally, a fruit needs a little extra something to create just the right consistency. Lemon juice also helps cut down foam or add the right amount of acid to a product to make it shelf-stable. R.W. Knudson and Santa Cruz juices are both made in the USA. Plus they are organic, which means no genetically modified organisms, just fruit juice and some ascorbic acid. (Ascorbic acid is basically vitamin C and is keeps fruit juice from turning brown in the jar.)
It was tricky finding packaging made in the USA. Re-usable fabric bags and muslin bags are typically made in China or India. So I selected simple white paper gift bags made by Nashville Wraps. They’re located in, you guessed it, Nashville, TN. Since that’s my brother’s home town, I figure it’s extra special.
Aunt Becky’s first goal remains, to make delectable products. But the search will continue for more ingredients that are locally grown or American-made and non GMO.