You’re excitedly unpacking the boxes from the car at your new house in the countryside, the lady from next door pops over “just to welcome you to the neighbourhood”. She’s holding a dish-towel-wrapped bundle of freshly baked bread and an ex mayo jar, now packed full of sweet preserved green figs. You take them and smile gratefully and you notice that they are both still warm. This is the way of the countryside.

In the warmer summer months of the South African Overberg region, fig trees drip with fruit along the fence lines, nearby fields are lined with finger-staining youngberry deliciousness, backyard peach groves blossom and buzz, neighbourhood orange trees perfume the evening air, guavas, loquats and gooseberries are in endless abundance. This is fruit season in a small town.
And with so much produce available, nothing will be wasted. The industrious creativity of country living locals means that there are going to be kitchen cupboards throughout the village packed to the hinges with jars of otherworldly flavours, preserves, jams, sauces and relishes.

If you live in a small country town, chances are extremely high that there is at least one jar of homemade goodness in your pantry, created by hand with love and care by a kind lady next door. Order delicious seasonal jams from one of these kind ladies like Simone Norton