It is January. It might be raining outside but it is still January. In the north (or northern Midwest) we see this time of year as one offering little in the local food department. Sure, there is the rogue kale plants that have braved the below zero temperatures under a coating of snow. Fruit, however, is no where to be found other than the produce aisle. Unless. Unless, you saved some of your summer bounty.
Canning, jamming, drying, and freezing is the new favorite pastime of us hipster-back to the land-local foodies. More than once I have been to parties where people are drinking homebrews boasting about how many jars of tomatoes they put up in the summer months. By the way, we canned 99 jars of salsa with some friends this summer. No big deal. Even though Aaron's grandma gives us the sad and confused "why in the h*** would you want to go to all that trouble when you can just buy canned tomatoes at the grocery store?" look when we tell her or our triumphs, we know it is more than just a "fad". Preserving food means we can eat organic, local, awesome food ALL YEAR ROUND! Say what?! Yes! And fruit is one of the EASIEST things to preserve.
After picking buckets of blueberries this summer, we sat on the couch and scooped and sealed them into bags. We put them in the deep freeze and have been enjoying them ever since! Aaron and I are low maintanence people. We love the romance of making jam but we aren't interested in doing that in the summer when there is so much else to do. So, we freeze. I know some people who will freeze their fruit in the summer and then take the slow winter months to can it. Sounds like a a great idea to me.
Whatever way you choose, I reccommend picking a few extra quarts of berries when you come to the farm, stick them in the freezer and wait till its cold to taste a bit of summer. You won't be disappointed.