Jam Packed

The Barker family crams a lot of living into their days on their Geraldine farm. Michael Barker looks back at his childhood and forward to the sweet life …


It’s 40 years since Anthony Barker had the idea to make elderberry wine from the glut of wild berries scoured from riverbeds and gullies in the area and on the family’s South Canterbury property.

From small beginnings in a cowshed, the Barker’s business (which now produces jams, preserves and syrups) has grown into a well-loved supermarket brand. His son, Michael Barker, is fiercely proud of his innovative dad and says he’d be bored silly if he didn’t have his finger firmly in the jam jar!

Your paternal grandmother was a fabulous preserver. Do you have any memories of her?

My Grandmother Constance Barker was adept at preserving the fruits and vegetables that she grew on the farm as were many of her generation who lived through the two world wars and had to be self sufficient with limited money and access to shops. She taught my father Anthony the art of home preserving and passed on her favourite recipes.

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