What do you get when you mix Southern heritage and top-notch natural ingredients with international flavors and put it all into a jelly jar? The answer is April McGreger’s to-die-for preserves, which she sells under the Farmer’s Daughter Brand. April may have learned the art of “putting away” at the heels of her mother and grandmother, but the creative and crave-worthy preserves in her award-winning line are all her own.
Image courtesy of The News and Observer
When she was growing up on a sweet potato farm in Mississippi, she learned the art of preserving the seasonal bounty but decided to pursue other interests. After years of schooling and traveling the world for her graduate thesis in geology, April traded in her degree to turn her one-time hobby into a full-time job. She Founded Farmer’s Daughter in 2007, and has since earned accolades for her one-of-a-kind products.
Image courtesy of Cody Jackson
From strawberry jam with black pepper and mint to sweet potato and blood orange butter, Farmer’s Daughter preserves have set a new standard for the next generation of Southern artisans. April is inspired by flavor combinations from around the world and incorporates a huge variety of peppers, spices, flowers, and herbs with the local ingredients from nearby farms in the North Carolina Piedmont.
Images courtesy of the Southern Foodways Alliance/ Kate Medley
These fertile foothills between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Coastal Plain are known for the lush soil of the farms where April sources pesticide-free produce for her award-winning preserves. In order to honor the quality of the local bounty, April defers to traditional method of lacto-fermentation for her raw pickles and never uses commercial pectin or corn syrup in her jams, preserves, and chutneys.
April has earned a devoted following at her local farmers’ market, she was one of the only southern preservers invited to the Slow Food Nation conference in 2008, and she nabbed two Good Food Awards in 2011 for her raw, barrel-fermented green tomato pickles and addictive Bourbon-soaked brown figs. She’s up for another Good Food Award this week for her Strawberry Honeysuckle Jam, and while the awards are welcome recognition for her hard work, April’s motivation is internal. She’s devoted to her local foodshed, and defines success as the increased celebration of the land she calls home.
April with momma's little helper, Moe.
Image courtesy of the Southern Foodways Alliance/ Kate Medley