Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jamming, the local way

All this talk about food and being green and CSAs has really gotten me excited. But it's not just organic food (though I certainly have enjoyed the organic produce we've gotten at work from Boston Organics), it's local food. There's something to be said for actually seeing where your food is produced, whether it's meat or veggies or fruit.

This past weekend on the way home from camping, my boyfriend and I stopped off in West Boxford at Ingaldsby Farm for a little strawberry picking. This was no simple strawberry picking, however. This was picking with a purpose: I was going to make jam.

The whole local food thing has inspired me to produce more of the food I eat. Sure, I cook. But it's with mangos from Nicaragua, rice from the Midwest, and pork from.. well, I don't know where my meat comes from, actually. I was going to produce something that would have a shelf life, and that has an ingredient that I picked with my own hands.

Yes, I'm romanticizing the whole process. But let me tell you, it was satisfying. Two of my girl friends came over, we washed and hulled the berries, sterilized the jars, and mixed together all the ingredients while we discussed our jobs, relationships, and other stereotypical "girl" things.

Oh, and yes the sugar was from Florida, and the pectin (from apples) produced elsewhere... but the main ingredient was local, and that counts for something, right? Baby steps, as my mom would say.

So. If you're looking for a way to take advantage of that local, in season produce, consider making jam. Or jelly. Or preserves. You'll have yourself a tasty treat, and a nice gift, all while staying a little greener and getting in touch with our dear Mother Earth.

Related Posts: CSAs Rock; Food Prices are Rising; Quilting for a Cause
Photo of my very own jam courtesy of me. Thanks to Danielle and Kate for your help making the jam! Those mason jar lids are tricky.


hannah said...

dude, the next time you jam, call me up! i have a friend who actually makes his own dill pickles! once i learn that, we'll go crazy! :D


Your jam looks beautiful. Check out the GOING LOCAL site for how to make turnip kraut the old fashioned way!