Paolo Vasapolli packs jars of jam being filled by Steve Daigle.Chef Paolo Vasapolli packs jars of jam being filled by Steve Daigle in the University’s kitchens during Reading Week.

Campus community garden collaboration proving fruitful

Jam made from fruit grown in the Campus Community Garden sells out as quickly as it is offered to patrons, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef with Food Services.

He and volunteer Steve Daigle, a retired UWindsor staffer, put up about six dozen 250 mL jars of black currant jam during Reading Week. They are periodically placed at the check-outs of campus food outlets, selling for $6.99.

“We follow a recipe from Steve’s mother,” Vasapolli says with a smile. “It’s a great product, made using berries grown by students volunteering their time.”

Currant bushes line the garden, located on California Avenue opposite the Education Building. Daigle, who has volunteered in the space since its inception, cares for the canes and harvests the ripe fruit. He has been canning jam from fruit in his own yard for years.

The collaboration with Food Services extends the garden’s bounty to a broader audience.

“It sells out fast every time we put it out,” says Vasapolli. “It’s made with fair trade sugar, it’s organic, it couldn’t get any more local. It’s a perfect partnership to support our campus.”