One of my favorite late spring early summer activities with my family is strawberry picking in one of our many local farms. This year we decided to give Jean's Berry Patch a try since we learned they are a no spray farm and it turns out their berries were sweeter than the farm we went to last year. They had plenty of strawberries to pick and my kids have so much fun picking and eating along the way. Here I am with my basket just about full. My two boys are behind me mostly picking.
Look at all of these wonderful strawberries. We had about 13 pounds to be exact.
When we got home we gave them a thorough washing. Never can be too certain about the kinds of things on them. But at least we know they are pesticide free.
Here they are on the counter top air drying.
Next I spent a little while cutting off the green stems. We froze about half of our strawberries to use later for smoothies. We used some for strawberry shortcake that night, some fresh for snacking on, and the rest we turned into jam.
We bought canning jars, sugar, lemon juice, and a box of pectin from the grocery store. We followed the instructions on the packaging thoroughly. This is quite an involved undertaking, especially when doing it alone. I suggest you try it with a friend at home. You don't need any special equipment, just the jars and lids, a pan to boil the jars and some tongs to get them out.
After the canning process I did the bath wash to thoroughly kill any bacteria and inverted my jars to seal them. Yum. Look at all the jam. This will probably last just a few months in my house though, so maybe next year we'll try to can berries for the whole year.