August through October is prime preservation season, which means busting out the pots, jars, and hot bubbly vats of sweet fruity goo to “put up” for later in the year. Tighter times and the ample free time allotted to the unwillingly unemployed (now at a dismally high 12% in LA County) have graduated food preservation from kitchen hobby and artisanal exploration to economic necessity, made even more attractive when the harvest being jarred is free.
David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young, the guys behind the Fallen Fruit Project, are hosting their fourth annual Fallen Fruit Jam at the Machine Project this coming Sunday. What makes this throwback to the old time, communal jamming sessions of our grandmother's days different is that the cooked up contents are made up almost entirely of publicly-picked fruit and whatever homegrown harvests people bring in. Public fruit, according to the dictums of Fallen Fruit is, “what [we] call all fruit on or overhanging public spaces such as sidewalks, streets or parking lots.” In other words, 100 percent free and ripe for the taking.
Interested jammers are encouraged to bring along any fresh or frozen home-grown or public fruit and any clean, empty glass jars. They promise that everyone will leave with a jar of communally made jam. “Radical and experimental” flavors that might be in the works include basil-guava and lemon-pepper jelly.
Basic jamming and preserving techniques will be discussed as well as “the communal power of shared fruit.” The jam session starts at 10AM. Instructions on creating your own public fruit jam session are available at Fallen Fruit's Facebook page.
Machine Project:1200 D North Alvarado St., Los Angeles; (213) 483-8761.