AU: strawberry grower makes 25,000 jars of jam to combat waste

As there were not enough people to pluck the hundreds of thousands of strawberries on Anthony Sarks's pick-your-own farm, he decided to make 25,000 jars of jam. Normally, the operation at Blackmans Point on the Mid North Coast would be filled with tourists picking strawberries by the bucket, but the current lockdown meant not even locals could come by.

"The Sydney lockdown started the eve of the school holidays in July, which knocked us," Sarks said. "Then the regional lockdown started on the eve of our big strawberry flush, which is in August/September. That's normally when we get a big bunch of tourists and visitors to pick the strawberries."

"If we didn't do something it'd be down in the back paddock," he said. "As a farmer who puts a lot of time and effort into growing it, it'd break your heart to have to dump it."

Sarks has always made use of his second-grade strawberries, giving them to a local artisan manufacturer to create, a now award-winning, strawberry jam. "We normally make strawberry jam out of our seconds anyway and I just couldn't throw the crop out," he told "So I said, 'Let's take the punt, make all this jam, and worry about selling it later.'" Sarks is confident he can sell the jam over the next few months.

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