Thursday, April 12, 2012

Preserving the Harvest: Berries

   The glorious arrival of spring brings with it the wondrous joy of fresh berries. Plump berries filled with drippy sweet juices dangle from leafy green stocks and thorny vines. No matter the type, spring berries are a true delight to the farm kitchen.
   When berries start to produce there are often very few at the start; one here and one there, generally nibbled by the surprised harvester. Then, with no warning at all the bushes bust forth with a heavy load..filling our baskets to the brim.
   Freezing is our first and foremost method for berry preserving. Washed and well dried, berries are first scattered in a single layer on trays and placed in the freezer. This keeps them from sticking together later. Once frozen they are bagged and labeled for later use. I bag in 2 cup portions..the right size for muffins and crisps.
Larger berries are sliced before freezing.

   The other excellent method of preserving is jam! Jelly is nice, but jam gives us a heartier taste of those delightful berries. Cleaned and crushed ever so wonderfully, mixed with sugar and lemon..cooked slow until thick and bubbly. I love cute little pint jars with the 'quilted' look to rustic and homey! Nothing satisfies a harvester's soul quite like the pop of canning lids fresh from the canner.

Marmalade from an earlier spring.
   I don't know about you, but the all time best thing to do with those wonderful just eat them! It might be time for an ice cream making...don't you think?

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Michelle said...

I love berries. Your picture of them is making my mouth water.

Dicky Bird said...

I mouth is watering too. I can't wait for fresh berries - in Wisconsin...I have a long wait...blessings.

Simply Scaife Family said...

My farm boy made a delicious cobbler last night with some berries he picked..wish I could share it will all of you!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

It's definitely time for ice cream making! :)

My 3yo is a berry junkie and the raspberries & strawberries just cannot grow fast enough. Last year, she harvested all our berries and ate them immediately (kinda like the carrots) but I'm happy she knows what the plants are and enjoys good, fresh produce!

Anonymous said...


ANudge said...

OOoh, I love blackberry pie and blackberry jam and they are so expensive here!