Cherries, Cherries and More Cherries

If you are wondering why we have not posted, it is because last Monday I headed down to my friends at Peach Hill Farm Market to pick up some cherry culls.

Cherry Culls

I got 6 cases of cherries that were too small or a little unripe or have a blemish. For the rest of Monday and Tuesday after we got back from the market, we washed, sorted, bagged, froze and steamed about 40 kilos of fruit.


All together, we had 7 and a half of these FULL of cherries! They are 48 cm X 30.5 cm X 20 cm

What are culls? Culls are the fruit that they can’t sell (or ship). They are most often too small, unripe or have blemishes. The size and the ripeness don’t matter when you are making juice and the ones with blemishes can be used when you are cutting up fruit for jam. After sorting and washing the first case we had a problem with the Vacuum sealer we just  bought for freezing fruit, the element that seals the bags has a blank spot! We had to turn most into juice and freeze the juice instead of freezing the fruit. Finally we went back to ziplock bags! One of the drawbacks of living in the middle of nowhere is I have to plan a 2 hour (one way) trip to the “big” city to take back the Vacuum sealer! Hopefully we can do that this week.

I made 3 dozen jars of cherry and red wine jelly from some of the juice and 48 jars of Tequila and Red Jalapeno Jelly as we headed towards the Friday and Saturday Markets. Canning was actually quite comfortable as the weather was cool and rainy – good for me but bad for cherry farmers. On Saturday, after the Osoyoos Market, we headed for Peach Hill to drop off the cases (and some Red Onion Jelly and Cherry and Red Wine Jelly) and got another 2 cases (about 25 pounds) of cherries picked that day that had splits from all the rain.

Pitted Cherries

Pitted Cherries

For the last 2 days we have been slicing and sorting and freezing cherries. Today I canned. We made a small batch of pitted whole cherries in a light brandy syrup, got a batch of cherry rum going, made Ba-Da-Bing Cherry Jam, more Cherry and Red Wine Jelly – the Red wine is Merlot and the jelly is absolutely incredible – Cherry and Hot Pepper Jelly and put even more cherries in the freezer! We have some washed and sorted cherries in cold storage and are going to make them into Cherry Wine (that we can turn into jelly next summer).  As we sold out of Beer Jelly, we also made 12 jars (2 canner loads) of that.

Cherries are the first crop of the season and we filled the freezer.  We now need to buy another freezer!

Here is our award winning cherry jam recipe:

Bing Cherry Jam

  • 4 cups pitted and chopped fresh, ripe dark (Bing) cherries (this is about 3 pounds)
  • ½ cup strained fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Put 8-9 250mL or 1/2 Pint jars in your canning pot and bring to a boil. Sterilize for 10 minutes.
  2. In your jam pot, combine the cherries, lemon juice and sugar.
  3. Over medium-low heat, stir and heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.


  1. After  1 minute at a full rolling boil, add the pouch of pectin.
  2. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Stir in the almond extract.
  3. To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp paper towel. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings.
  4. Process half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.
  5. Cool on a table covered with a towel.

Note: If the fruit all rises to the top of the jar, gently turn the jars upside down several times while the jam cools.




About badkowalik

Prepared by hand and cooked in small batches – our preserves are cooked slowly. There is an average of 1.5 pounds of fruit in every 8 oz jar. Not only can you taste the difference – you can see the difference. Beautiful natural color and unmatched textures – that can only be achieved by the patience and experience of the Confiseur (the maker). There is alchemy to what we do. Like fine wines, each season has it’s own specific style. We create preserves with exceptional taste. Capturing these flavors is the craft of our business. Beary Good Stuff is a collection of seasonal, sustainable, artisinally made preserves. The collection is made (in limited quantities) from local fruits using traditional cooking methods. We use the freshest ingredients we can get. The small batch production insures a taste and texture that is unmatched in the commercial market today. The collection includes preserved fruits & vegetables – marmalades, jams, fruit butters & salsas, pickles and gift collections that reflect the bounty of the season and spirit of feasting. Although not necessary yet, we have received a letter from the BC Heath Authority. We submitted a package detailing how and where we made our products, what each recipe contains and how we prepare it. This letter is displayed in our tent at the Farm Market. We have our BC MarketSafe and FoodSafe certifications.

Posted on June 24, 2013, in Market, Recipes, Sweet and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. WOW that is a lot of cherries. My MOM is not happy about our cherries. The birds got EVERY SINGLE ONE. I am not kidding. MOM got to eat TWO, two cherries. The birds got the rest. We are jealous of yours, blemishes and all.

  2. Cherries are rare in europe since a view years ( in case of the brown rot). It was nice to see a lot of this great fruits. Thanks :o)

  3. I am a MAJOR fan of cherries… of my favorite snacks in fact…..this jam looks incredible. But then EVERYTHING you make looks incredible!!

    Hugs, Pam

  4. Wow that’s a lot of cherries. I love these posts and I’m glad things are going well any chance of you selling your products in the u.s.?

    • We do. I do not have online ordering set up yet and I am slowly working my way through website to show all the products available online (not enough hours in the day). I do have a US post box (we live in a teenie border town) and the flat rate box rate would apply.

  5. Oh YUM! We love cherries! And that jam looks delicious (I’m sure it TASTES delicious, too). 🙂

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