Do NOT Copy

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Mulching Does Wonders

We got a bunch of yummy wild blackberries last year, but they were rather small. They made an extremely tasty jam too! This year I decided to mulch a few of them and see what happened.

Look at the difference...

This was one of the two bushes I mulched. It was absolutely bursting with robust, juicy berries.

This was not mulched. Many of the berries dried out. Those that didn't were small and not nearly as satisfying to eat on a hot summer day.

I think I'll be mulching more plants next year. Hopefully I'll get some paths cut and have a nice berry area in my yard.

Now, to make some more blackberry jam. It's SO easy! Also WAY less expensive than buying jars of jam at the store. My recipe is a freezer jam so it doesn't need to be pressure canned OR cooked. My kids like to help me pick the berries, we have even taken their grandma and their dad picking with us. They could probably make the recipe too if I could trust them not to eat all of the berries on me...

Pick your berries. You'll need about 3 cups of crushed berries for this recipe. I like to be lazy and crush my berries in the blender. It does a bit more than just crush them but it turns out great.

Once the berries are crushed, add sure gel of your choice and sugar. I used Sweet and Low to help with my son's prediabetic condition. The recipe calls for 5 cups of sugar I think, but I used the equivalent of about 3 cups. My jam is plenty sweet. I think you should make it as sweet as you prefer. You can taste it before it gels, it'll just be syrupy and may drip on your shirt. (Don't even ASK how I know!)

Mix together throughly. Pour jam into jars leaving about 1/4 inch space at the top. Let set up for up to 24 hours at room temperature until thickened. Store in refrigerator for up to three weeks or freeze. (Make sure jars you use are freezer safe.) Enjoy!

That will keep us in jam for a while...

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