Monday Morning Gardening: Family Jam

Nothing tastes better than homemade jams or preserves.  If you're lucky to have a fruit tree bearing fruit in your garden this summer, this is the time to harvest and prepare to can those yummy delights. For years I was lucky to have an Apricot tree that exploded with fruit at the same time each June, I knew I had a short window of time to harvest and make jam.  I knew this would also be a great opportunity to get my children involved with learning a skill that would benefit them for years to come.  Not ready to help right away, once they got the baskets out the fun really begun!

While I was preparing the pots, jars, and tools for canning, the kids had the chore of gathering the apricots in the basket bringing them in the kitchen to wash and de-pit.  Our kitchen counter transformed into a factory, with jars & lids lined up, pots filled with fruit cooking on the stove, crazy canning tools and oven mitts so the hot water wouldn't burn our hands. We each took turns stirring the sweet apricot liquid getting it ready for the moment to pour into its final place. Once sealed we would label each jar and let it cool. We would can close to 1 bushel of apricots or 48 lbs making 32-48 pints of the best jam. The holiday gifts we had on hand to give from our summer crop made all the hard work a labor of love to share with our family and friends.

Want to learn about making jams and preserves?

Join Goin Native on Saturday July 23 at 9:30 AM at Reata Park & Event Center in San Juan Capistrano, taught by the UCCE Master Preservers on how to create jam & preserves. Learn all the steps to you need for successful canning!