Spring is in full swing and it’s time to accessorize your bread! That’s right, let’s bust out the canning equipment and take advantage of all those sweet, plump berries Mother Nature is ripening as we speak. What’s that? No canning equipment? Well then let me be of assistance! Not only do I have some great links to fantastic spring jams, I also have a way for you to WIN A FREE PRESSURE CANNER AND WATER BATH CANNER!! Let’s get you all spiffied up and ready to make your bread look (and taste) fabulous!
While the big box stores can be very tempting with their massive sales, great deals can easily be found right in your own neighborhood. This is especially true if you grow your own berries and fruit, but if not, there are still lots of free and cheap options that don’t require stepping a foot into any store.
Free Food: The cheapest option requires a little courage and an eagle-eye. This is my go-to option since we have moved so frequently and I have not been able to cultivate my own permanent garden. As you drive around town, keep your eye out for fruit trees, especially if they appear to be un-maintained. Knock on the door and ask the folks living there if they harvest their fruit. You would not believe how often people say that they don’t or honestly don’t even remember that they have a tree or berry bush in their yard. Now don’t be a creeper. Respect property laws and privacy and all that, but really it isn’t hard to tell from the street where free food might be hanging out that will only go bad if somebody doesn’t pick it. One year I filled 3 10-gallon buckets with delicious apricots just up the street from my home, and there were still tons that rotted away on the tree and the ground. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Cheap Food: Another great option is to find out what farms in your area have a pick-your-own option near the end of the harvest. There are several in my area, and one farm that has a really fun pancake breakfast following the picking time slot. Not sure where to look? Check out the Pick Your Own website to see if there are participating farms in your area!
Local Food: Even when the above two options are not available, it is best to try and purchase what you can locally. The current drought in California has done a lot to show us the problems we can face when massive crops are centralized in one location and not farmed water-consciously. Not only that, is is great to know where your food comes from and who to thank for growing it!
Early Summer Jams & Jellies
When it comes to canning, there just isn’t much further to look than the fantastic website Simply Canning. Sharon has some really fun spring/early summer ideas that will help you take full advantage of produce growing right in your front yard! Here are some of her recipes that I have printed out to make for our kitchen this spring and summer:
Now for the Giveaway!
I cannot get over how amazing this giveaway is! Please tell all your friends and neighbors who could benefit from this and let’s make sure everyone has a chance! Have a great week!
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, Pinterest, All American or Ball Canning Co. This All American Pressure Canner #921 and Stainless Steel 21 qt. Waterbath Canner Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 5:00 am (MST) and ends on Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 5:00 pm (MST). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!
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