JarSquad Exchange Rate

To encourage everyone to give & take their fair share of what we produce through JarSquad, we use the JarSquad Exchange Rate to try and make this process of redistribution as easy as possible.

Here’s our trial exchange rate system, that we’d been using since July 2020.

JSC stands for “JarSquad Currency” – a new unit of exchange we invented for the project. This helps us think about how to balance the inputs & outputs of the JarSquad. The idea is to end up at -zero-, having balanced everything out.

Feel free to use it, and adapt it, for your own JarSquad projects!

1 x JSC*
=6 x deep cleaned glass jars with metal lids (no labels or glue)
=1 x jar of jam or preserves=1/2 hour of fruit prep or jam-making work
2kg of surplus soft fruit, stone fruit or berries (not prepped)=1kg of clean & cut soft fruit, stone fruit or berries (fully prepped)=3kg of sugar=3 x 568ml bottles of vinegar
*JarSquad Currency – updated exchange rate Aug 2023

It’s not an exact science…

As with all types of exchange and value, the JarSquad Currency is not an exact science, it’s a starting point. It’s a suggestion really – rather than a rule book. The JarSquad Currency’s main purpose is to get people thinking about the different inputs and outputs that are part of preserving, processing, trading and redistributing a glut.

In reality, everything that goes into the exchange system has variables – different conditions, different sizes, different speeds, different recipes and different yields. Sometimes you’ll end up with more than you expect, sometimes you’ll end up with slightly less. Perhaps these things will balance out over time?

Using the JarSquad Exchange Rate to calculate inputs & outputs

Number of. x Exchange RateJSC
Deep cleaned jars
(no labels/glue)
Rinsed jars (with labels)100.11
Surplus fruit (prepped KGs)111
Surplus fruit (unprepped KGs)20.51
Hrs of fruit prep0.521
Hrs of preserve making0.521
Deep cleaning work per jar100.11
Sugar (in KGs)30.33331
Vinegar (in Ltrs)1.70.591
Jars of Jam / Preserves111
Fresh lemons / limes / oranges / onion (per fruit / veg)100.11
Contribution to overheads (electric / gas / venue etc) per hr0.521

Worked examples:

Someone making blackberry jam

Inputs >> total = ~ 8 JSC

  • 1.5kg sugar (~0.5 JSC)
  • 1.8kg prepped soft fruit (1.8 JSC)
  • 1 x lemon (0.1 JSC)
  • 1hrs jam making time (2 JSC)
  • 8 deep cleaned jars (1.6 JSC)
  • 1 hrs contribution to overheads (2 JSC)

Outputs >> total = ~8 JSC

  • ~8 jars of jam

Someone collecting and/or cleaning glass jars

Inputs >> total = 2 JSC

  • Collects 10 x jars with labels still attached (they still need to deep cleaned) (1 JSC)
  • Adds ~0.5 hrs of jar deep cleaning time (1 JSC) to deep clean the jars

Outputs >> total = 2 JSC

  • This produces 10 clean jars (2 JSC)

Someone prepping fruit

Inputs >> total = 1.2 JSC

  • 1.4 kg nectarines (0.7 JSC)
  • Add 0.25 hrs prep time to clean, prep & chop the fruit (0.5 JSC)

Outputs >> total = 1.2 JSC

  • 1.2kg clean, prepared & chopped nectarines (1.2 JSC)

4 people making preserves together (2.5hr session)

Inputs >> total = ~30 JSC

  • Contribution to overheads / use of the space (5 JSC) 
  • 4 people spend ~1.5hrs each doing fruit prep / jam making / deep cleaning jars (14 JSC)
  • 26 x rinsed jars (need to be deep cleaned) (2.6 JSC)
  • 4 kg sugar (~1.3 JSC)
  • 2.5g prepped soft fruit (2.5 JSC)
  • Fresh lemons / orange / onion (0.4 JSC)
  • 3.2 kg unprepared stone fruit (1.6 JSC)
  • 1kg unprepared veg (0.5 JSC)
  • Spices (0.5 JSC)
  • 0.8 l vinegar (~0.5 JSC)
  • 1kg unprepared veg (0.5 JSC)

Outputs >> total = ~30 JSC

  • 8 x jars of blackberry jam (8 JSC)
  • 6 x jars of nectarine, raspberry & ginger jam (6 JSC)
  • 4 x jars of courgette chutney (4 JSC)
  • 8 x jars of damson jam (8 JSC)
  • 4 x jars of cucumber pickles (4 JSC)