Summer Jammin’

So I finally made the initiative to make my own strawberry jam. One morning, I woke up with the intentions of getting some strawberries one way or another. I originally planned to buy from my local farmers market, but seeing they were much more costly and not as appetizing, I ended up driving out to Bauer Berry Farm in Champlin to pick my own! Not really knowing what to expect, it ended up being super slick! I highly recommend picking your own at one of your own local farms. You simply drive in, take your trays (if you need them), follow commands for parking, and then follow directions to an open row. I was able to pick on both sides of my row and let me tell you, I sure picked some great berries! It was fun though. I was by myself, but still, it felt good just being in the sun and mindlessly picking the best berries I could find. Even better? This farm doesn’t spray chemicals, so you’re allowed to sneak a few bites as you pick!

I had been wanting to do this for a couple years now, so I am glad I finally did it. It was so easy! As for making the jam, that was easy too. All you need are a few ingredients and supplies. Here is what I used:

  • Jars and/or Tupperware
    • I used four freezer-safe jars, and three tupperware containers
  • Mixing bowls and spoons
  • Blender
    • You can either mash your berries in a bowl, per the recipes directions, or use a blender which in my opinion, is WAY easier!
  • Sure-Jell
    • I used two boxes for my one tray of berries
  • White Sugar
    • A LOT of it! I made the mistake of not checking how much I had in my cupboards and had to make an extra trip to the grocery store for more
  • Strawberries of course!

My recipe? It simple came from the sure-jell box! Easy peasy. I did spend a few hours making my jam, but being it was my first time, it took longer. I took my time washing and cutting the berries, and mulled over the directions for far too long. The next time I make it, it’ll be done a lot quicker! My second batch even went a lot quicker than the first because I knew what I was doing by then.

When the jam is ready to pour into your containers, you simply close them up, put out on the counter (well I actually skipped the last step of boiling your jars because that’s what my sisters do, but yeah), and let sit for 24 hours before freezing or storing. About 48 hours later, I taste tested my jam on toast for the first time. It was delicious! I am so happy that I FINALLY made my own jam and that it turned out. Knowing how simple and cost effective it is, this will definitely turn into a yearly thing.

If you’re interested in making your own jam, you should most definitely do what I did! Find one of your local farms, and go pick your own! It is much cheaper and in my opinion, tastier! BUT, before you go, here are a few things you should know before going picking:

  • Strawberry picking season is short, so be sure to call your local farm to find out more details
    • I believe it usually begins in June and lasts about 3-4 weeks if I’m right
  • Call ahead to find out whether or not you need your own containers
    • Some farms you do need your own
      • If so, ice cream buckets are handy!
  • Pull from the stem, not the berry
    • Look for fully red berries!
  • Wear sunscreen
    • You may be under direct sunlight
  • You can wear what you want, but know that you will be kneeling in the straw/dirt, so I was happy I wasn’t in shorts and sandals. Again, it’s entirely up to you though, if you care or not.
  • Bring water!
    • At least to keep in the car. I am so glad I did anyway!
  • Bring cash, or check with the farm to see if they accept credit or debit

I am sure everybody has their own way of jamming each Summer, but this was my first experience. If this sounds fun to you, it might not be too late for you to do it yet! It’d be cutting it close though, so find out where your local strawberry farms are and call them up! If you already do this yearly, feel free to share your favorite recipes and maybe I will try it next year!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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