It's that time of year!!! Blackberries are ripe and ready to pick!!!
But beware, they bite!!!
Blackberry briers remind me of those trees in the Wizard of Oz. Remember when the Dorothy and Scarecrow try to pick the apples and the apple trees smack them? So Scarecrow started making fun of their apples, so the trees threw them at Dorothy and Scarecrow.
Well, Blackberry Briers bite when you try and pick their fruit. I have wounds as proof!!! Plus a lot of stained fingers!!!
I should have brought at least one leather glove to hold the thorns out of the way and a big board to place in the middle of the thicket in order to reach the bigger berries. Oh well, lessons learned again. :(
I try to get rid of as many seeds as possible when I make blackberry jam. The seeds are huge and get stuck in teeth.
This is the collander I use. After cleaning the berries, I put them in this and squoosh them. I squoosh them until I am not getting anymore pulp or juice, then I discard the seeds.
It is a process, and it took me a good hour and a half to get them all done. Then I put the pulpy juice in the fridge to store for the next night of jam making.
One batch makes 9 cups of jam. This is not jelly. The collander allows the pulp to escape along with the juice. So the result is a nice thick jam.
After the jam is made, I put lids and rings on and put them into a 10 minute waterbath to ensure a good seal. In the past, I didn't waterbath my jam, the lids still sealed just fine. But this year I would like to give some jam away and I want to make sure it is totally safe to do so.
I made this batch last night and I just finished up another batch tonight!!! We now have plenty of jam for the year, or more.
Not a bad product from a noxious weed!!! And I am not kidding when I say it is a noxious weed here in Oregon. It is not native and can take over every bit of land if you allow it. I have it growing in my garden despite pulling and digging it out!!
We got these berries in an empty lot on the way to town. Lots of people have been there berry picking!!! And they all have wounds like mine!!!
OK, just kidding on that part!!
This is the pectin I use to make the jam.
Well, that's it for today!!
Enjoy the Earth