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July 18, 2007

Berry-licious

My mom, the kids, and I headed out to our favorite u-pick farm yesterday for round two of the great berry stockpile that takes place in our household every summer. This time we were hungry for raspberries and blueberries.

Unfortunately, when we got there we were told that the berries had been picked out earlier that day and there wasn't much left on the bushes. I found that a little hard to believe considering it was mid-week and it had been raining all morning, but the bushes were indeed bare. It turns out (according to tonight's news cast) that last week's heat wave ruined the raspberry crop, cooking many of the berries where they hung and killing a large percentage of the plants. Our weather has now swung in the complete opposite direction, cooling down to 16/60 degrees, with rain predicted for the next week or more, so I think the growers probably hedged their bets and picked everything before the weather turned wet and the already stressed berries succombed to mold.

Luckily, this meant that they had many flats of pre-picked berries that we were able to buy (for twice the price mind you), so we won't have to go without, but the season is finished two weeks earlier than it should be, and local farmers have lost millions of dollars worth of crops.

I froze most of the raspberries for muffins and for the peach/raspberry jam that I will make later in the summer, but I also used some to make a batch of low sugar raspberry jam, which is something I hadn't tried before. The consistency is slightly different, but it's nice and fruity and will perk up my winter toast nicely.

My blueberry plants are happily producing lots of berries this year, despite being kept in pots while they await the move to their permanent home (there was no way I was going to leave them behind when we moved!)...

...but they're not quite producing enough to keep us in blueberry pancakes all winter, so I also bought a large box of blueberries for freezing. Many of those disappeared in greedy handfuls before we even got home (it was a long winter!), so I will likely have to get some more before the season ends, especially considering that we haven't even had our Zabaione Con Crema fix yet this year.

Tammie and Chelee - the bun recipe that I used for the mushroom burgers can be found here. It was the first time I'd tried this recipe, but they turned out nice and soft and tasted good (I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the white).

10 comments:

Steffi said...

Very nice pictures!Your berries looks delicious especially as berry-jam.You bake a cake too?

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I had hoped to go this weekend to the blueberry shack but may have to wait till the 1st. I just hope they hold out long enough for me to get there.
i have plans to pick 20 lbs for the freezer this year. I always put them in portioned sized bags which helps alot when baking.
Oh I cant wait- its kiling me knowing they are ripe and ready...

Ophelia said...

My, those raspberries look so temptingly delicious! My son and I picked just a handful of raspberries from our garden yesterday (need to plant more some time). We also picked blueberries (got about two quarts) and can't wait to pick more, as they ripen up throughout the season.

Interesting, we did the exact same thing as you when we moved - we brought our young berry bushes with us and kept them in pots before transplanting them in their permanent location. That was five years ago. They survived the transfer just fine, and they continue to grow well today.

Oh btw, thanks for posting the link to the bun recipe! Now I can make the mushroom burger, and make the bun too! It looks easy enough to make, and I like the idea of using whole wheat flour for half of the flour.

Chelee said...

Oh No!! That stinks about the berries. I think because we are just a bit south of you, our crops were spared. Peach raspberry jam, that sounds amazing!!! I made the mistake this year of canning my jam in half pints. How the kids have been attacking them, it should have been quarts. LOL My goal was to can 52 jars or 1 week. I should have doubled or canned larger jars.

Thanks for the recipe!

dawn said...

I stock up on berries too. Our raspberries are just starting and it is cooling a little so I think they will be okay, unless it rains too much. We are going out to pick saskatoons this afternoon at the farm. Mom's raspberries are further along than mine but we are going to have tons. I want to get blueberries eventually but all in good time.

Steph said...

hello!

Trying to get back and caught up with my blog reads. The banner up top looks lovely.

Shawna said...

Looks great! I made some jam this week as well--the 1st time ever!!!! I wanted to use my rhubarb, so made rhubarb/raspberry jam. It is so good. Now I am hooked--plan to can some homemade spaghetti sauce with all my tomatoes as well LOL

See what you have started!

Jill said...

I know what you mean about the berries! We live in the raspberry capital of BC (or so they say) and I still had to make a one hour round trip out to Fort Langley to find myself a flat of raspberries. Everywere I went was picked out/sold out. It's been rotten berry weather this year.

Cheryl said...

Steffi - Thanks!

Tammie - I hope they hold out for you!

Ophelia - I'm glad to hear that your plants survived the move. I was a little worried about mine at first, but they seem content.

Chelee - I guess I know where to come to get more berries!
My kids plow through the jam too (oh, who am I kidding, so do I)!

Dawn - I haven't had saskatoon berries in so long!

Steph - Thank you! It's great to see you "out and about" again. :D

Shawna - Oh no, you're in trouble now!

Jill - That's crazy, I guess we were lucky to get them when we did. Hopefully the blackberries will be better off.

:: Suzanne :: said...

yum! We are off to blueberry pic on Friday. I am just south of you, across the line.

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