I spent the day yesterday out in the fresh air picking berries at my local berry farm. The berries were huge, sweet, and juicy, and I picked somewhere around twenty pounds of strawberries. A crazy amount, I know, but these berries are now safely stored away for the winter.
Some got put into freezer bags and others I turned into beautiful jam sweetened with honey. The little gems in the freezer will make delicious smoothies or crisps. I tried two different kinds of jam this year, both sweetened with very little sugar or honey using Pomona’s Pectin, and it will be so good on sourdough bread. (I will share how I made my jam soon!). Picking my own berries and preserving them for the rest of the year is very satisfying.
The main reasons I chose to pick my own berries are:
1. These berries are pesticide free and super delicious because they are ripened right on the plant and only make a short trip to my home. Most berries from the grocery store are developed to turn red before they even ripen so that they can be shipped across the country and are usually hard and rather tasteless.
2. I am supporting my local farmer. Any time I can support my local economy encourages the small farms to keep producing quality, delicious food that I can have easy access to.
3. The price is right. The farm charges a very reasonable amount per pound which allows me to pick buckets full without breaking the bank.
While I do have my own small strawberry patch that provides me with enough berries to eat fresh, I am thankful that I have a berry farm close so that I was able pick enough strawberries to store away. Having them frozen and turned into jam assures that we will have healthy, delicious berries to enjoy all winter long.
How about you? Have you been berry picking yet?