“Marley Mills is the alchemist of all things wild in the kitchen including making jelly out of knotweed, chokecherries and wild grapes.”
—Jesse DeGroodt, The Chatham Press, July 2015
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I am slowly resuming production !
I will only be holding periodic flash sales. Click here for details.
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Hover over flavor names for a short description or download a copy of my most recent Flavor Explainer
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Autumn Hedgerow The lesser-known fruits of fall. Deliciously sweet & tangy.
Black Raspberry & LemonSlightly tart. Straining out most of the seeds yields a smoother, flavorful jam.
Chokecherry A type of wild cherry, chokecherries are very tart, & make a wonderful deep-flavored jam.
Cranberry Blueberry Preserves Tart, whole Nantucket cranberries & local blueberries. Tangy & sweet.
Strawberry Rhubarb A classic. Organic strawberries & rhubarb, both from The Berry Farm.
Apple Cider Fresh apple cider from local orchards provides an intense, tangy flavor.
Elderflower & Vanilla A perfect blend of delicate sweetness and perfumed bouquet.
Wild Day Lily Sweet & tangy with hints of citrus & melon.
Wild Hawthorn Deliciously sweet & tangy with a deep red color from the skins of the fruit.
Savory Herb Jellies
Balsamic Rosemary Pairs well with hard & soft cheeses, lamb, venison, & pheasant.
Flower Petal Jellies
Bee Balm Tastes remarkably like Earl Grey tea.
Dandelion Looks like sunshine, tastes like honey.
Violet Purple with a light floral-grape flavor.
Rose Petal A delicious filling for thumbprint cookies & jellyroll cakes.
I've been making homemade jams and jellies since I was a kid helping my mom. She thinks it's funny that I do now for fun what she had to back then to get by. But I really do enjoy it – I love scouting for blossoms in the spring, and going back a few months later to harvest the wild berries and fruit those blossoms promised. I find standing at the sink cleaning and picking over my haul soothing, and the actual process of jam making is truly meditative – so much stirring !
Yes, I love making jam. My friends benefit from my obsession quite a bit. As do my kids' teachers, our local service providers, and the occasional random stranger I happen to start talking to. My friends and family jokingly agree that I need help – but not a single one of them is willing to interfere, lest they mess with their jam supply.
So instead they have suggested, repeatedly, that I sell some of my jam – at least enough to pay for the habit, as it were. And I finally figured out that they were right.
Locally grown, locally processed. The fruits, herbs, and flowers used in my products are locally grown (except for the cranberries and citrus – those don't like to grow around here!) and processed by me, by hand. Many fruits – including raspberries, blackberries, cherries, elderberries, grapes, and apples – I harvest from the wild spaces of Columbia and Berkshire counties. What I can't find wild, I harvest at area pick–your–own farms and orchards, or very occasionally buy at local farm stands or farmers' markets.
More fruit, less sugar. My jams and jellies use about a third the added sugar of most others – 2 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of fruit puree or juice, compared to 6–7 cups of sugar in traditional recipes. I haven't had anyone complain yet about the missing sugar, and the natural taste of the fruit comes through so much better. Even the herb and flower jellies use less sugar than traditionally called for.
Locally sourced jams. The flavor on the stove depends on the season. First crop of the year is usually strawberries, wild or cultivated, and then black cap raspberries. High summer means wild chokecherries and currants, then blueberries and peaches. Late summer brings elderberries and wild grapes, red raspberries and seckel pears, along with some early apples. Autumn is full of wild apples and crabapples, and shy, underappreciated fruits like speckleberries, rosehips, and barberries. And you never know what I'll be cooking up in winter – it depends what was bountiful enough to get into the freezer during the months prior.
I like to play with flavors – things like strawberry vanilla or gingered pear. I also enjoy blending tastes together – triple berry (strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry), summer hedgerow (chokecherry, blackberry, and elderberry), or autumn hedgerow (crabapple, rosehip, and barberry). And I love mixing in just enough cranberry to give the jam some bite, so cran–grape and cran–apple are some of my favorites.
I fill the down time between harvests by making herb and flower–blossom jellies.
Herb jelly? Really? Yes, really. Fresh chopped herbs are steeped in a blend of apple and lemon juices and vinegar. After straining, the resulting infusions are made into jellies that can be used as delicious condiments. Chive jelly on a bagel with cream cheese is amazing. Or rosemary jelly with cheese and crackers. Melt herb jelly in a sauce pan, add a little vinegar and oil, and you've got an instant marinade. Use it straight from the jar to glaze poultry, pork, fish, or veggies. It caramelizes beautifully on the grill.
But what is flower–blossom jelly? These jellies can be made with any edible flower. Clean flower petals are steeped in a blend of apple and lemon juices. The resulting infusions are strained and made into jellies with delicate flavors and beautiful colors. Dandelion jelly tastes almost like honey, while bee balm jelly reminds me of Earl Grey tea. And thumbprint cookies filled with rose petal jelly are absolutely divine. Flower–blossom jellies also make interesting fillings for jelly–roll cakes, and can be warmed for a unique pancake or ice cream sauce.
Although my physical health has improved, I still have chronic health issues.
Starting November 2023, I have begun producing limited quantities of my jams and jellies as my health allows. I cannot maintain a regular stock and so will not be selling in retail shops at this time. Instead, I will have flash sales announced through email alerts and on my Facebook page. Sign up to be notified via email before the sale !
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