Picking, Freezing and Jamming Strawberries

This entry is part 19 of 31 in the series Grow Your Own Challenge

Picking Strawberries: Freezing and Jamming them.

We try to grow as much produce as possible out of our gardens. This spring, we started our first strawberry garden but it just isn’t producing yet so my family went to a local farm and picked our own strawberries. Doing this is a great way to pick up fresh fruit relatively cheaply and you sill get that feeling of harvesting your own food.

afton apples

afton apples

We picked about 13 pounds of strawberries in half an hour and headed home before dividing it up and putting off most of it for the next year.

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First, we picked through all 23 pounds pulling off the stems and washing them in cold water. After putting some aside for eating over the next few days, we took about 13 cups of them and set them aside for strawberry jam. The remainder were frozen for use any time we needed them. They will easily last a full year in the freezer and make a great addition to desserts like ice cream, smoothies, and just as a snack. They also work well for covering in chocolate too.

To make the jam, pick up box of pectin at your local store and follow the canning directions on it. Different products have slightly different recipes and processes. Any time you can, you should also follow the food safety procedures needed. You don’t want to have unsanitary equipment or cans when you do this. It is really easy to do. Just pick up a book by one of the canning companies like Ball to lean how. 

First, we simmered the strawberries until they turn into mush.

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We add sugar and basil for flavor and bring to a rolling boil. Then add the pectin and boil hard for one minute before hot packing sanitized cans.

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Pack the cans, give them the water bath required on your box of pectin and store in a cool dry place.

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One thing to note on this picture: We did not boil the pectin quite long enough and the berries floated to the top. Don’t be afraid to boil the heck out of them. IMG_7065-1

Decorate with a little string and you have a great gift for a friend.

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If you liked this, don’t forget to check out our whole series on everything we are making this year.

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