Mermeladas Tologorri farm

by admin on 06/10/2014

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On the outskirts of the town of Orduña, the Tologorri farm of Mikel and his wife Marijo is located. On our arrival, he was busy making fruit juice using a small trailer which contained everything necessary. Being helped by a couple of workers, they were able to fill, say, 100 bottles with fruit juice. Then, when all the fruit had been turned into juice, the equipment on the trailer was folded down in order to take up as little space as possible. Finally, everything was covered with a tarpaulin and the trailer was ready to be taken to the next farm.

Next, Mikel took his time to show us his orchard which was located next to a river. Since we arrived in October, almost everything had already been harvested. Anyway, this farm is cultivating, among others: blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries, figs, rhubarb, apples, quinces, and small prunes which are used to make liquor.

They are also making jams from wild grapes, plants which have been grown in various villages around Orduña for many generations, but nowadays they are hardly cultivated.

In addition, there had been a storm in another part of Spain, creating problems for some fellow farmers. Since they were his friends, Mikel had also received lots of peaches, which needed to be made into jam quite soon.

After our visit to the orchard, we went inside where the two grandmothers of Mikel’s and Marijo’s son were busy peeling and cutting the peaches into small pieces. In the meantime, Mikel set to work on transforming a load of quinces into jam. After having rubbed off the hairy surface by means of a towel, he made two longitudinal and perpendicular cuts halfway into the quince, then he started rotating the knife while it was still inside. Doing it this way was quite effective instead of cutting from end to end, which was much more laborious. Then, having divided the quince in four parts, he put them in a kettle. Finally, he poured water into the kettle and let everything boil slowly.

Having already made purée of quinces before our arrival, Mikel poured it into another kettle. Then, he added sugar and mixed everything thoroughly with a spatula, while heating the mixture. He also made cuts in lemons, extracted the fruit juice manually by means of a squeezer and poured it into the mixture of purée and sugar. Having let it boil for about an hour, he let it cool before filling glasses with the newly made quince jam. At the same time, the grandmothers were patiently peeling and cutting peaches even though it seemed like the uncut peaches hardly decreased.

After all this work, Mikel brought some bread, put quince jam on it, and added a walnut. It tasted really delicious!

All cultivation on this farm is organic and the waste products from the production of juices and jams were given to the cows. Actually, a group of cows were eating hay next to the house where the jams and juices were produced. There was also a meadow next to the pen to which the cows could come and go as they pleased.

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