We started out our Thursday by meeting up with my sister (I have two sisters, this one lives in Toronto as well), and heading up to Brook's Farms. Brook's farm has been around for over a century and we are lucky enough to know a couple of the Brook's family members.
While on the farm we met Georgie, a rather unconventional farm dog. Buzz took a picture. This is it.
By buying from the farm directly you get a chance to see exactly where your food is coming from, you can ask questions, and even pick it yourself. We decided to pick raspberries and strawberries.
Buzz, not surprisingly, chose to run and wander, he seemed to enjoy that everything was in tidy rows. He did manage to pick some raspberries, although he was less impressed with the strawberries. The strawberries were abundant and bright red, the whole field smelled incredibly sweet. I ended upheading home with a full container of strawberries, some raspberries, and some pecan butter tarts. We ended up eating all of the raspberries by the next morning, the butter tarts didn't make it home.
I had looked up jam recipes the night before and so I had a good idea of the amount of strawberries that I needed. I would definitely suggest that you look at recipes before you go berry picking, even take the time to write down amounts so that you don't come home with too few berries.
I picked up some rhubarb from the garden (everyone has too much and so they are eager to give it away) and made myself some strawberry rhubarb jam. I used a recipe from Canadian Living, they have a great assortment canning recipes and I defer to their website often for ideas.
The strawberry rhubarb jam turned out wonderfully, the colour is beautiful and the taste is pretty awesome as well. There is something incredibly satisfying about making your own jam, we ended up with 10 jars, most of which we will probably give away. If you haven't tried to make jam before you should definitely try it out this summer, check your local farms for pick your own berries, or hit up your local farmer's market. All 10 jars of jam cost about $17, that includes the jars that we picked up at the Goodwill store, for $1.70 a jar we have some amazing jam and the satisfaction that we made it ourselves.