The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Preserving strawberries

Cutting strawberries

Strawberries are our first big harvest of the year.  Sure, we've been eating lettuce so long that we're sick of it, and kale rapini and asparagus are giving way to Swiss chard and peas, but none of those vegetables are worthy of being preserved.  Strawberries, though, come out of the garden by the gallon.  Even after we eat our fill, there's still plenty left to be squirreled away for the winter.

Strawberry freezer jam

My stand-by preservation methods for strawberries include fruit leather (for special treats) and strawberry freezer jam (for dressing spring salads).  This year, I'm trying out a new freezer jam recipe, based on Pomona's Pectin and using a lot less sweetening than usual (plus, the sweetener is honey instead of sugar).  Here's hoping the healthier option will be just as well received in February 2015 as the previous version was in February 2014!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I was wondering if you used your biochar to help grow your seedlings and/or put any into your garden. I have made a lot over the winter and put it in my beds, I am hoping for a great harvest this year. Also, what is your preferred method for getting your biochar?

Comment by John Sat May 31 20:24:26 2014

I've used the Pomona cooked jam recipe with honey for an all fruit type of spread before. I don't like lumps! :) We liked it and I loved that it used so much less sweetening!

Comment by Ghislaine Sat May 31 20:26:23 2014

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