Wild and Fruitful with The Westmorland Family

Jane Maggs, of the Wild & Fruitful Co-operative, makes a delicious range of preserves all made by hand in small batches in Cumbria. Jane left her career as a landscape architect over 10 years ago. Inspired by the abundance of wild ingredients available in the county, that she hated to see going to waste, Jane set about making preserves in her small country kitchen and from humble beginnings, a successful business was born.

“My whole ethos is that food and landscape are intertwined. I want to show that it is possible to forage for and use wild foods, prepare everything by hand and make a business out of it! Autumn is a very busy time for us. I’m always out at the crack of dawn hunting for mint, wild mushrooms, haws and elderberries too.”

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A few years and many jam jars later, Jane now works with a small and enthusiastic team to produce her preserves using traditional methods and equipment, ensuring the best flavour and texture. Jane skilfully combines carefully sourced local fruit and vegetables and whenever possible uses ingredients handpicked from the fields, forests and gardens of Cumbria, meaning no two batches are ever quite the same.

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This Christmas Jane is producing eight very special preserves just for us. Our Buyer, Alex, worked closely with Jane on the recipes which include some twists on the most traditional along with some new and unique flavour combinations. Alex knew Jane was the perfect partner for our Christmas range and explained to us;

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“I admire Jane for her immense knowledge of the old varieties of fruit and plants; bringing to life long forgotten hedgerow produce such as meadowsweet and mallow with her imaginative recipes. But most of all I admire her energy in creating value from the produce of her locality that directly benefits the network of small growers that she supports and I am proud that the Westmorland Family is able to support her in turn.”

The range includes Fig and Rhubarb, Pear and Walnut, Sour Cherry Jam, Cumbrian Raspberry, Hedgerow Conserve, Cumberland Sauce, Piccalilli and Meadowsweet Jam. Find them in our Farmshops now.

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