2014-04-17 / Front Page

Girl Scouts learn how to operate a business

Janet Byrne Janet Byrne MILLSTONE — Janet Byrne, the owner of Millstone Preserves, Millstone Township, hosted Girl Scout Troop 941 on March 28 to teach the girls about her local business and to demonstrate the art of jam-making.

Byrne makes jam from local berries and fruit. She picks blueberries and raspberries at the Earth Friendly Organic Farm in Millstone, and various fruit at Wemrock Orchards, Battleview Orchards, Eastmont Orchards and other local farms. She also buys fruit from local farm markets, which in turn sell her jam.

Byrne said she enjoys supporting local businesses and encourages others to do so.

From start to finish, 12 Girl Scouts crushed berries, pureed, cooked and preserved tasty “Millstone Preserves Triple Berry Jam,” following all of the safety guidelines for canning as they sought to earn a food badge.

Byrne and the 9-year-olds discussed product packaging as they each put a custom label on the jam and added fabric and ribbon for appeal. Each Girl Scout learned about health and safety of preparing food and the steps involved in the canning process.

She said the girls were surprised to learn that canned fruit can last on the shelf for two years. The girls also learned that anyone can start a business — all they need is a good idea, a great product or service, and some research to make sure there are customers that will want to buy what they are offering.

Byrne said her mother grew up on a farm in upstate New York, and she grew up with delicious homemade jam. She said she always wanted to can fruit herself, and after making a hobby of it, she began selling it to local residents and online about a year ago.

Her jam is on the shelves of local farm markets, and she sells her jam at local events such as Millstone Day and the Harvest Festival in Allentown. Additional information is available at www.millstone preserves.com.

Byrne said the Girl Scouts who visited her were enthusiastic and excited to learn. Each girl took home her own jar of Triple Berry Jam. The Girl Scouts were accompanied by their leader, Susan Bernieri.

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