Preserving, canning, and freezing

July bounty

July bounty

Last Saturday, I got up early and went to pick blackberries at a local farm.   It is nearing the end of the season so I really had to work for my bounty.  I was able to crawl around and I found some really huge berries that others had missed.  I ended up with seven quarts.  (I was surprised at what a bargain they were at the farm because I had bought a pint at the farmers’ market for $5.  I paid just under $20 for seven quarts direct from the farmer. )

Later that morning, we decided to jump in the car and run to the bigger farmers’ market in our area.  I think we bought a few cherry tomatoes there, but as we were contemplating buying peaches, we decided we would make the trek to a peach orchard about an hour south of the city.  Wow–it was definitely worth the trip (even as our GPS was taking us across an unpaved, muddy, rough gravel road). 

We bought a quarter peck of Ruby Prince peaches, after, that is, we sampled a few different varieties.  We also bought a half peck of “seconds.”  There was nothing wrong with these, especially as our goal was to make jam.   This farm also had #2 tomatoes for sale and we ended up with ten pounds.

Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us upon our return home.  We got home at 3:00 that afternoon and by 7:00 that evening we had eight pints of peach jam, four quarts of peach freezer jam, nine pints of blackberry jam and two gallons of roasted tomato sauce.  (See “Lasagna from Scratch, Locally” for a great tomato sauce recipe.)

It was a great way to spend the day, adventuring out to new farms, and putting up all this food together.

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