Monday, June 4, 2012

Berry Good!

Hopefully one day we will have tons of blueberries and raspberries and blackberries and other sweet goodness in our Berry Garden.

Half of the blueberry bushes were planted just last year, the other half this year. The grapes are also new this year and we still haven't replaced the dead blackberries and raspberries.  And until we can stop the chickens, the occasional onslaught of rabbits (one which recently became dinner, more to come on that later) and wild birds from eating all those few delicious bits of sweetness, we will have to rely on purchasing our berries if I want any cobbler, pie or jam.

This past weekend, both grandmas, Rhiannon and I went to the local berry farm to go berry picking!  The blueberries weren't at their peak ripeness, so we only got a gallon of them.  I'm hoping to go back out there next week and get some more. While the grandmas and Rhiannon were plopping blueberries in the buckets (and stuffing them into their maws), I strolled over to the blackberry patch and quickly filled a gallon bucket.  

I only took a few cups of the blueberries for fresh munching and the grandmas split the rest.  
The blackberries were huge, but not very sweet, and not squishy-juicy ripe.  But that's just fine because I didn't plan on eating them out-of-hand; I wanted them for making blackberry jam!

I made two batches; one with pectin the other without.  I opened a jar of the pectin-added jam and it didn't set up as firmly as I would have thought.  Still wonderful on a fresh out'a the oven slice of bread though.  When we finish up that jar, I'm going to see how the jam without pectin set up.  I'm hoping to give a few of these for the holiday season so I want to make sure I give the best ones as gifts.


  1. Carolyn Renee,

    I have to say, Rhiannon is adorable. She's ready to help Mom make jam. I can't wait to hear how the non pectin jam came out.

  2. Mmmm, blackberry jam sounds wonderful! The shot of Rhiannon in her little apron at the stove reminds me of when my daughter was that size. She wanted to do EVERYTHING with me in the kitchen and I really had to exercise a huge amount of patience to let her "help." Of course, it took three times as long to accomplish any task that way but I wouldn't change those years for anything.

    P.S. Any jam too thin to stay on a slice of bread becomes "syrup" in our house! It can also be relabeled and given as a gift that way, too!

  3. My goodness! How TALL Rhiannon has gotten! Hehehe. I am such a fan of blackberry jam, I just cannot tell you. However, since I cannot enjoy it on my next favorite thing - bread - I may just motor out there and spoon it out of the jar! Looks divine!

  4. Gosh that jam looks good! You sound like where I'm at in the berry stage around here. Can't wait till bushes and trees start producing. I could kick myself not having done this years ago.

  5. Ohmigosh Rhiannon is adorable!!! Our blueberries are famous here but are never ready until July or so, you must have some blueberries on steroids LOL! Don't worry, I'm sure your berry patch will provide plenty for you, but I look forward to you reaching new heights in creativity dealing with those birds - they are awful, aren't they ?!

  6. Our blackberies are one of the thing I like best about summer! I'm looking at a bumper crop again this year :) Birds don't bother mine, go figure. Must be the bird feeders outside?

  7. Blackberry jam...YUM!!
    I planted two blackberry bushes this spring, some day I'll get berries! LOL!!
    Rhiannon is just too cute in her apron! :)