If you arrived here via Food Gawker and are interested in keeping up with what I’ve got “Growing On” stop by my One Green Tomato blog and sign up to follow me around the kitchen and my organic garden. The blog can be found HERE.
Today was centered around my favorite fruit, strawberries. I woke up early, not that I ever sleep past 6 anyway, so I could be at Myer’s Strawberry Farm by 7. If you get there any later than 9 it ends up getting too hot and being over crowded with tons of people and kids running around hopped up on natural sugar!
Last year when I was on the farm, Jas and I would pick strawberries Saturday mornings while Josh would head to market. We usually would show up with about 35-40 quarts…that is a lot of time spent with your ass sticking up in the air. Today I only picked 12 quarts but it seemed to take forever. Actually, it did take forever, 2 1/2 hours to be precise. Since the season is almost over, most of the berries left are very small, and of course the variety I was interested in are already small to begin with.
People don’t know how to pick strawberries and this is what really rubs me the wrong way! This farm uses a flag system, once you reach the end of the row or your desired stopping point you stick your flag into the ground. This way you know what has been picked and where you should start next. Most of the time the plants are skimmed over and only the biggest and most beautiful berries are sought after, thus leaving all the other ones behind, which eventually end up rotting and making a huge mess. When you pick berries you pick the ripe ones, no matter what size because most often than not the small ones end up being the sweetest! I can’t tell you how many moldy, black spore factories there were. I would reach into the plant and what looked like dust would come floating out and into the air. I was SO annoyed!
Besides the berries the only other ingredients needed are pectin, I use Sure.Jell, and a ridiculous amount of sugar. You can also add a bit of butter which is said to cut down on the foam. I don’t know about that. There is just something that feels wrong to me about putting butter in my jam. It seems like Americans look for any excuse to use butter, Thank You Paula Dean!