Tuesday, May 31, 2011

From Farm to Fridge

I decided to end the school year with a month long block on gardening and farming. Of course, this ties directly into the 3rd grade curriculum for Blake, but it was also something the other kids would enjoy as well. One of the supporting activities of this block was strawberry picking! It is something we tend to do annually anyways, but it was fun to label it as school work this year. We went to a new farm this year and ended up picking 2 gallons. It was a very hot day (no surprise for us in the south...summer starts in spring) and the kids got grumpy pretty quickly, but I think they still managed to have some fun during the process. Now that Blake is older, I was able to point out to him the various growing stages of the berry as we were picking. And of course, there was some in-field sampling :-)

In my mind, 2 gallons of strawberries would yield several jars of preserves and at least a gallon in the freezer to enjoy later in the year (this was after already eating 2 gallons bought at the local farmers market). Ha! The kids ended up eating a little over a gallon straight from the container. I definitely need to rethink my amounts next year! So on Saturday, I cleaned the rest and Blake helped me make a jar of preserves (our first time for both of us). He also prepped them for freezing. It turns out we have about a half gallon in the freezer. I guess I will have to make those stretch as long as I can!

The kids can be pretty funny when it comes to fruit. While they will gobble down gallons of fresh strawberries (obviously), they do NOT like strawberry jam/preserves. So I get to enjoy it all by myself and boy is it delicious! We didn't have to add too much sweetener (honey) as the strawberries were pretty sweet to begin with. Now that the strawberry season is over for us, we can look forward to blueberry picking in a few weeks!

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