Now that we’ve picked most of the raspberries, the blackberries are ripening. We use blackberries in many of the same ways as raspberries, but we seem to have so many more of the blackberries, as you can see. Since the berries were already here, growing rather wild, we chose the “live and let live” approach, which is very much in keeping with Permaculture principles. We opted to observe and see what would unfold. Lo and behold, the abundance revealed!
Years ago, we first discovered the already existing berry
bushes brambles on this land. A neighbor at the time told us that the berries used to be huge. The berries, by this time, actually, were not very large. I added a few raspberry plants, and noticed an increase in size for those, but not for the blackberries.
Over the years, however, the blackberries have matured, and they have increased from about 1/4 inch to approximately 1 inch in size.
As described in my “Raspberry Season” post, I soak the freshly-picked fruits in a vinegar and water solution to clean them well and prevent mold. Then rinse, drain, and lay them out on towels to dry.
I’ve been able to pick around 2 pounds per day for the last few days. Requests for jam are pouring in! Thankfully, jam is not difficult to make. It requires the blackberries, pectin, and sugar. That’s it!
Smashing the Blackberries
Most jam recipes say to mash the blackberries with a potato masher. My potato masher needed a little help, so I got my (clean) hand in there to help squish and crush.
I also used my blender to do some of this work in hopes that it would cut down on time.
The blender seemed to liquify the blackberries, more or less.
Cooking the jam didn’t take all that long, thankfully. Once everything is mashed up, it really only takes a few minutes to boil, then add sugar, and boil for just one more minute.
Make sure you have your water bath canner going with the boiling water while cooking the jam.
Once you’ve filled each jar, wiped the jar rims and threads, and secured the lids, it’s time to process them!
Here are the jars of jam after processing.
NOTE – If you are new to canning, this is a great “beginner’s” recipe. Before you begin, however, read up on the basic canning guidelines found in publications here.
Simple and delicious, here is one way to preserve and use all those blackberries!
- 6 Cups Crushed and squished blackberries -approximately 3 quarts
- 3 Tablespoons Pectin
- 4 1/2 Cups Sugar
In a large saucepan, stir the crushed up blackberries together with the pectin.
Stir constantly, over high heat, while bringing mixture to a boil.
As soon as the mixture reaches the boiling point, quickly add the sugar.
Continue stirring constantly, and bring the mixture back up to a full boil.
Keep at rolling boil for one full minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim off foam, if any has formed.
Fill hot, sterilized half-pint jars. Leave 1/4" headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe the jar tops, edges, and threads clean.
Secure hot, sterilized lids with bands and screw in place firmly.
Process in boiling water canner for 10-15 minutes.
I have to say, the jam turned out well! So tasty! Do you grow berries? What kind(s) do you grow? And do you make jam? What are your favorite ways to enjoy berries?
If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it!