Thursday, May 31, 2018
No More Jam
The parents of people now in their mid seventies were children during the Great Depression. It is highly likely that they faced bedtime with empty bellies on many occasions. That may be a factor in my history of large family gardens filled with food. Becky and I have tended our own gardens across the past fifty years. We no longer put up large quantities of frozen or canned food but we still make our own jam.
This is the end of our frozen stockpile. No cook freezer jam filled the freezer and nearly carried us to the next harvest. Some of the strawberries used in the jam were grown here. Most were picked by us from a nearby roadside operation. Most went from the plant to the freezer in just one day. The balance were processed the next day. Starting each day with jam made from locally grown fruit is a remarkable experience.
As the last of the jam jars were filled, we turned to freezing fresh berries. These are seen as a special treat and we usually find some of last year's crop still holding freezer space when the new crop is ripe. It is a real hardship to make the effort to clean out the freezer in a timely fashion.
The roadside market that has served our needs for more than fifty years is no more. We have found another but felt the need to grow our own. These plants are in their second year here and look ready to provide us with a bumper crop. The original plants were set in two rows. Runner plants were set in rows on either side of the parent plants. There was supposed to be a one foot wide clear space down the middle. More plants should have been removed. The bed is five feet wide and the wire fence is easily removable. Picking from either is within our extended reach. The one hundred new plants here might just supply our needs.
These berries lag behind the forty-eight plants near the house. The nearby maple trees shaded this part of the garden despite their lack of leaves. Since the sun climbs higher each day this ground lies in full sun now. Winter was just a little late to leave here and that could be seen as a plus. In any event we will be picking fresh ripe strawberries here very soon. We must remember to purchase needed supplies now before the store stock is depleted.