|~ July 16 ~|
This year, they are strangely quiet in the berry bushes... lots of birds still... wonder what they are eating?
Anyway - my first huge harvest was last week & that was the elderberries. Half of them have been boiled, strained & frozen, waiting to be made into jelly & the other half are in the freezer with the rhubarb, waiting for strawberries....
Right now I'm picking other red berries. I have 2 raspberry patches - with plans on expanding as I never seem to have enough raspberries & the plants really want to spread. (maybe next year...)
|~ July 22 ~|
I tend to pick every other or every 3rd day so that I'm getting more than just a handful each time. Also allows me to pick a different range of ripeness - some are super-ripe & others are just on the verge of being ripe. That way you get the benefit of full flavour (from the super-riper ones) as well as the benefit of higher pectin levels (from the not quite ripe ones).
I'm also lurking in the bushes along the roadside picking thimbleberries. I made a thimbleberry wine one year (don't ask me how I managed to pick that kind of quantity of this berry, but somehow I did!) and I recall I also made a thimbleberry jam.
This year will be another year for thimbleberry jam - as long as I don't get mistaken for a bear in the bushes & get shot!! The area I'm picking in has a ditch full of berry bushes - so I'm actually down about 3 feet from road level, not so gently or quietly thrashing my way through the bushes to get the berries. I actually stood stock still today when I heard people coming up the road as I didn't want to give them a heart attack by speaking from the bushes... I felt kinda silly, but I've already scared a couple of locals by just stepping out from behind a big leaf!!
I hope I can get some canning supplies this week - the freezer is filling up fast & the store shelves are empty!!