July 14, 2011

Berry Picking at Bedford

Once again, it’s berry season at my farm and all available hands have been picking away.  Berries ripen quickly and they need to be picked quickly before they fall to the ground or are eaten by birds.  Ribes rubrum, or red currant, is really a member of the gooseberry family. I’ve been growing currants and gooseberries for a long time because I love their flavor, their tartness, and their usefulness.  Red currants are used in jams and jellies, tarts and meringues, and candied as a garnish.  They also have many medicinal uses, such as fever reducing, sweat inducing, blood cleansing, diuretic, laxative, and astringent purposes.  I also grow an assortment of blueberries, and who doesn’t like blueberries?  Not only are they wonderful for jams and jellies, and for baking purposes, but blueberries also contain high levels of antioxidants, which help to fight aging, cancer, and heart disease.  People are always asking what I do with so many berries.  Well, I make jams and jellies, I bake pies and tarts and other creations, and I also freeze lots of berries for future use.  To freeze, first spread the berries on flat baking sheets.  When they are solid, they are ready to place in freezer bags or plastic containers.

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