Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stoddart Garden's Strawberry Expedition Was Moderate Success

Last week, a group of the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden Gardeners gathered early Saturday morning to go pick strawberry at a local U-Pick farm. We had planned to go to Hann Farms, which was the closest and least expensive farm. However, you know what they say about best laid plans. Luckily, I called that morning to confirm that they were still open and, in fact, they had run out of ripe strawberries the day before. So, we went to Schact Farms in Canal Winchester, which had only a few ripe strawberries. As a result, it was fairly difficult and took much longer to find ripe strawberries for our canning and fresh food addiction. While I had anticipated that we would only spend an hour picking, we worked for close to two hours and left when we got hot. Strawberry picking has become very popular this year and we had lots of company at Schact's.

Attached is a post-picking picture of some of our group. Melissa took lots of other great pictures while we were actually picking the strawberries, but I somehow messed up the downloading process and didn't have the patience to work my way through the 700+ pictures on her camera to try again:)

Beth, Melissa and I then went to work that day to making jams and preserves. (I had made raspberry and blueberry jam the night before since the berries were on sale at Kroger's). Note to self: In the future, make only jam. Preserves take a long, long time and none of mine jelled correctly. The jams, however, turned out perfectly. I've attached pictures of my jam/preserve collection and Melissa's 2009 collection. (I LOVE her rounded new jam jars -- she got the last bunch at Riffe's Market in Grandview. If anyone know where else in Columbus I can buy these jars PLEASE EMAIL ME so that I can buy them before I make my fuzzy-naval marmalade in August (during peach season)).

Mitch and I also froze strawberries (to use in smoothies and as ice cubes). This involves washing the berries, removing the stems and leaves, freezing them on cookie sheets and then putting them in freezer bags for storage.

I called Hann's Farm again yesterday and the message says that they still have a few ripe strawberries left. Doran's Farm reported that we can pick strawberries through Father's Day. However, next year, we'll be going the first weekend in June instead of waiting . . . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment