Sustainable Options

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blackberry Picking and Jam!

On Sunday we went see Grandma and Grandpa who live on a farm outside of Placerville CA. The kids love going to see their grandparents and they have so much fun there. 112_0567This weekend we spent about three hours picking blackberries. They have tons of wild blackberry bushes growing on their property and Grandma Eileen used the neighbor's tractor to clear paths so we could pick berries. After three hours we had two large buckets of very ripe blackberries.

What's a person to do with all those blackberries? Make Jam of course. (on a side note Sean and I had 112_0577never canned anything before). So we drove home put the kids to bed, I ran to the store for canning supplies and we made Jam until midnight! We were tired but it was lots of fun and so nice to eat your creation the next day for breakfast.

112_0592 We finished with 8 pint sized Jars!

Sustainable Notes: The whole process of picking, making it into Jam and canning was fun. It was great to do it together as a family. The cost of the Jam was minimal for Sugar, pectin and jars (which we will reuse). We will now be able to enjoy blackberries out of season and I may be able to talk Sean into giving some as gifts. Canning our own Jam also had minimal energy, packaging and pollution!


  1. Grandpa John came across another good blackberry picking area today that is just starting to come in. It's down in the willow run (Sean knows where that is). I'll have to do some more tractor work to clear around them to make picking easier. I expect we'll have berries coming in for a few more weeks. Hope we see you back.

    For other berry pickers:

    Picking is faster wearing a gallon milk carton (cut out on top opposite the handle) on a belt so both hands are free -- one with a glove on to hold the vines - the other to pick.

  2. I picked this weekend with the milk carton tied to my belt loop (I dont' wear belts) and a leather glove on my left hand (picking with my right). I think this method doubled my picking time! We made another batch of yummy jam and thanks to Grampa John and Grandma Eileen have some berries in the freezer as well!