Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First Canning of the Year

Monday evening, I went out to pick strawberries and was pleasantly surprised by how many large, ripe ones there were. While I picked, the strawberry aroma was strong in the air, and as the basket filled, I knew just what these berries were going to be turned into . . . strawberry jam!


Jams are one of my very favorite things to can, and I enjoyed making it yesterday morning. First washing, hulling, and then crushing the berries . . .



Then getting the jars, canner, etc. all ready, preparing the jam, filling the jars, and then the actual canning. And now we have 10 half-pints of strawberry jam to enjoy! Which after last year without any strawberries thanks to the deer, it is definitely a treat.


There were berries leftover, too, which we enjoyed for dinner, and Leah and I picked more today which will be turned into strawberry-rhubarb jam.

In related news, I finally finished planting the last few things in the garden this morning! It is exciting and a bit of a relief to get the rest of it in. Usually it is all planted by sometime in May save for the winter squash, but all of the rain we have had has made it more difficult to work out there. It is raining hard yet again as I type (hopefully the seeds won't get all washed away!), and there is rain in the forecast each day for the rest of this week, too.

The rain sure has helped the plants grow well, though!

Part of the garden . . . beets, onions, and potatoes

This morning I also almost finished thinning the carrots before the rain came. Once they are all thinned, then they'll need to be weeded  . . . as you can see, the weeds have been particularly prolific in the carrot bed!

 In progress . . . these little weeds spread out right on the surface of the ground making them difficult to pull, though it is a lot easier when the ground is as wet as it has been.

As the rain is to continue through this afternoon, outdoor work is likely done for the day, though it will be pleasant working in the kitchen canning the strawberry-rhubarb jam!

8 comments:

  1. Your strawberries are beautiful! I love strawberry jam. I haven't made any in a couple years, but hope to make a batch this month.

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  2. Awesome! It looks delicious.

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  3. Lovely! It's the strawberry season here too, though we don't have any plants now. Fortunately there are Pick Your Own farms locally.
    I think you will be busy in the carrot bed for a while!

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  4. Wow! Looks like you're strawberry bed is really starting to take off! :D For some reason, strawberries seem to do really well if there's a lot of rain in early spring.

    Nothing like fresh strawberry jam. NOTHING. We're having to refresh our strawberry beds this year; the plants are all tired and worn out. So we're not getting as many berries as usual. Plus strawberries sell really well at the Market. As much as I'm happy that the business does well, there's still a part of me that's sad to see them go.
    I have to keep reminding myself that I'll be up to my ears in canning and preserving before too long. :)

    Haha, our broccoli/cauliflower rows looks like your carrot rows! As nice as gardens look like in magazines, I'm beginning to realize it's not realistic. Derek is always tempted to feel bad if things get too weedy. It's good reminder to know that really, the most that's needed is that the plants have light and space to grow well -- not necessarily that the garden looks perfect. With the way weeds are, that's never going to happen anyway, lol!

    With all that rain you're getting, are any of the plants taking it hard? I know last year for us was super wet and the poor tomatoes just languished. Every year of gardening seems so different. You never know what will do well and what won't. Serves as a good reminder for me that God is ultimately in control, and He is to be praised for every little thing that does well. (And really, He should be praised for what doesn't do well either. But that's more difficult to keep in perspective. xD) Nothing can be taken for granted in gardening and I love it that way!

    Happy canning!
    -Christina

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  5. Thank you, Sarah! We do, too. :) Have fun making your jam!

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  6. How nice that you have Pick Your Own farms locally, Elizabeth! That is a blessing for those things one doesn't grow themselves.

    My Mom was able to get the carrot bed all weeded today! It looks great now!

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  7. It is, Christina! I really wasn't expecting it to do much this year since it is only its second year and the deer nearly destroyed it last year. It is really a blessing having as many strawberries as we do from it!

    We've been enjoying the jam, and I would agree! It is so good. That's great that your strawberries sell so well at the market! Though I am sure it can be a little hard sometimes to see all of that delicious goodness leaving your place. :) Maybe next year with your strawberry beds refreshed you'll have more than enough for you to can some, too!

    I know exactly what you mean about accepting weedy gardens! I am like your husband . . . I love weed free gardens. I'm learning, though, that weeds are all right as long as they don't hinder the growth of the plants! But we still try to keep it as weed free as possible. :) It helps that my Mom especially enjoys weeding, and she's fast at it, too!

    So far the plants are tolerating all of the rain surprisingly well. How are yours doing? Most of what we have planted ended up in more raised beds or hills so that I am sure is helping. Then the tomatoes and peppers were only planted out the beginning of this week (really late for here!) so they haven't had to deal with all the wet (yet.) At the farmers market today, though, our friends were saying that their tomatoes and some of their other crops are doing really poorly with all of the rain. :( As you shared, it is a good reminder to praise the Lord in all things and be especially thankful for those things that do grow and produce well.

    Thank you for all that you shared as I enjoyed reading it!

    Enjoy your gardening!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)