Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Good Day's Work

I ventured off to E.L.K.S. U-pick this morning on a whim.  I had hoped to go yesterday, but they were closed for a day to allow the berries to ripen.   As always, I hold my plans loosely!  My day was turned upside down today (in a good way) when a friend offered to take our 2 younger kids this morning for a playdate.  Because I have to go into the city tomorrow, and Friday likely won't work out to go pick, I figured I had better get myself there today.

This U-pick farm is only 5 minutes from my house!  It's a family run farm that's been in existence for well over 100 years.  It's situated on a lovely plot of land, with stunning gardens and the people are SO friendly!  The berries were just what I wanted.  I don't much care for the commercially grown berries as they are always hollow and dry with little flavour or taste.  These berries are like what you'd grow in your garden at home.  Sweet, juicy and flavourful!

I got busy prepping them for jam as soon as I got home and I'm happy to report that after an afternoon of work we've got another 20 jars of jam for the pantry!  Although it takes time to pick, prepare and process the jam, it's pleasant work ~ both out in the fresh air and in my kitchen looking out over the ever changing pasture and sky.  I don't mind this work.  It's meditative (as most repetitive tasks are), and you know ~ that's okay some days.  It's kind of nice to just let your thoughts wander as you hull berry after berry...

Getting food from farm to pantry in a day is intensely satisfying.  It's also exhausting in a big way.   After a long day of picking and canning, I always declare that I'm not going to do any the next day, but somehow, come morning, the eagerness to put up more is renewed :)

It's truly a major spirit lifter to pry open a jar of homemade jam on cold winter's morn.  When the snow is falling and the wind is howling, I'll remember the day I was hot and tired, back aching oh so sharply...  the wind blowing my hat off...  again.... 10 sticky fingers stained red with the juice of warm berries.  I'll also remember that I was happy that day :)


  1. Nice jam! I know what you mean about berries from the grocery store. I stopped buying them. Once you have fresh local berries, you don't want the store ones, which, like you said, are dry and have no taste. love,andrea

  2. I know that feeling... of accomplishment and satisfaction.

    Perhaps its the climate, perhaps the culture, but I've not found any u-pick places around here. Of course, I might not be looking in the right places, either!

  3. ooh, I would feel so good about it if I had all those fine canned goods lined up at the end of a day. well done!!