Well, our little bees have out done themselves already!! Their hives were tucked into what we thought were briers...wrong they were blackberry bushes. Those hard working bees pollinated every single blackberry flower. Then one afternoon while we were checking on our bees, we noticed itty bitty berries EVERYWHERE! Next thing we know there were blackberries popping up like popcorn.
There was no way all that hard work done by our bees should go to waste. So Brint, Mark, Amy, and myself decided to make jam and can it. So we picked, and picked, and picked, AND picked. Our first day was SOOOO HOT! Once that was done we went back to our house to can our crop.
Now, side note, none of us had ever made jam or canned anything before...ever. So we had a chore in front of us. I hit up Martha Stewart.com and Google, while Amy hit up a bunch of other jam making web sites as well. We even borrowed Brint's Nana's Jam/Jelly making book from the 40s. We all agreed to make our jam pectin free, so we could label our jam as 100% organic. And it helped keep the cost down! Did you know that if you add a small handful of unripened berries in with your ripened berries, they have their own natural pectin!?! Pretty cool!
So we stood in my HOT kitchen and washed, mashed, cooked, heated, boiled, and popped our way through our first batch of five shiny jars of Blackberry jam. Man, that was hard hot work! The funny part was the waiting for the "pop" after the boiling bath, it was totally exciting. We all huddled around the five jars and cheered every time the lids popped.
So since then (3 weeks ago), we have been picking and canning nonstop. We've done so much that Amy and I dream about it all the time. As of right now we have canned over 89 pints, and 80 half pints. And the boys are canning again tonight. Wheew! But let me tell you all that work has payed off. Besides selling the jars like hot cakes, the jam is SOOOOO YUMMY!! We have had nothing but rave-reviews. All the money we make from the sells is going back towards our bees, supplies, shed/barn for supplies, etc.
If ya'll want to buy some let me know! $5.00 for a pint, and $4.00 for half a pint. You won't be disappointed!!!