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Four years ago, we planted a Georgia Grown garden at Dublin’s Visitors Center. A true labor of love, this garden embodies values we hold dear: hard work, locally grown eats, and Georgia! It was a chance to show each of our tens of thousands of visitors how those Georgia peaches, blueberries, and more grow. We plant a seasonal garden twice a year, featuring everything from herbs and peppers to potatoes and cabbage. It is hands down the second favorite spot at the Center, second only to the dog park.

Today, the fig tree we planted a few years ago is massive and bears lots of sweet, Turkish figs peeping from its velvety broad leaves. With all those figs, we decided to can up another Southern favorite: pepper jelly. Luckily, we also planted jalapeños and bell peppers. A quick trip to our Piggly Wiggly in Downtown Dublin bagged local eats of lemon juice, white vinegar, and sugar to round out our ingredients.

Makes 3 pints +

Local Eats Fig Pepper Jelly

1 1/4 cups white vinegar

2 cups seeded & diced bell peppers

1 cup seeded & diced jalapeños

2 cups sliced & diced figs

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon butter

7 cups sugar

Combine vinegar, peppers, figs, lemon juice, and butter in stockpot. Heat on medium high heat to a boil. Let boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

Add the sugar and return to a rolling boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and pour in jars you have sterilized using this guide.

Leave 1/4″ headspace, use tool or chopstick to remove air bubbles, and wipe down jar lips & edges. Top with new lids and bands.

Process the filled jars for 10 minutes using the water bath method in the guide above. Once processed, remove jam from canner and let sit on a towel to cool and seal.

Once you hear that magical “pop,” let jars continue to rest for 24 hours and test the seal using the guide above.

This is one of the prettiest jellies! The red bell peppers and jalapeños float to the top, making for a very Christmas-y bright presentation. Is there any better gift than a sweet locally grown eats jar of happiness you have worked months on?

The soil at the Dublin GA Visitors Center has brought us much joy, and that saying I heard when I moved here is true: “You could spit a watermelon seed into Laurens County dirt, and it would grow.” I laughed then and I’m laughing now, because it’s true. It makes me and our visitors very happy, indeed.