As word gets around about OFRE and our picking fruit capabilities we are getting requests from farms to help out with the harvest this year. The excellent weather we have had this year of warmth and moist conditions has been ideal for the berry crops including saskatoons!
In early August, OFRE was invited to help glean a bumper crop of saskatoons on a u-pick outside the city near Wawbemin. It’s further than we have ventured before, but it was fun. We tend to try to stay in the city as much as possible as there is an abundant amount of fruit grown in Edmonton, but this was worth the trip. Check out the amount of berries picked by everyone! As per usual, all the fruits of the harvest are split into 4 shares with an equal share going to: the homeowner, a charity, OFRE, and a quarter is divided up among the pickers. I definitely have a freezer full now and will be enjoying my portion on pancakes or in muffins this fall. In this case, the homeowner who runs the u-pick farm was very grateful we could come out the pick the berries. She was able to take her portion to her stand at the farmer’s market to sell to customers, which directly benefits her business and gives people access to local fruit. A win-win in my mind.
Thanks everyone who came out and helped pick the patch. OFre volunteers were invited on 2 consecutive nights which meant that we could have lots of pickers and spread the bounty around.
From the OFRE portion of the fruit, I made a Spiced Saskatoon Jam. Here is the photo, I’m crushing the berries with a potato masher to help release the juice. It is a saucy sweet jam with a hint of cinnamon, touch of all-spice, and the brightness of lemon zest. very nice on toast, or drizzled on ice cream or a decadent chocolate cake. To see the final product, you will have to drop by the 124th Grand Market, every Thursday from 5pm-9pm.
On a hot, sunny afternoon at the end of July, OFRE volunteers went out to a starwberry u-pick farm North of Edmonton towards Gibbons to glean the patch at the end of the season. Not only did we get to pick fresh strawberries, but they had a small patch of raspberries we picked too. People of all ages came out to partake in the fun. Afterwards, a couple volunteers gathered together to make 2 OFRE jams from the OFRE portion of the rescued fruit. The sticky looking spoons you see in the bottom corner of the photo are from doing the spoon sheet test. To test if a jam is done, you can take a cold spoon and dip it into the jam mixture and let it drip off, then set it aside in the freezer for 1 minute. If it has jelled, your jam is ready to be poured into jars!
Here are the jam names and recipes that the volunteers came up with for this jammin’ afternoon.
- Sublime Mixed Field Berry Jam (lime zest/juice, raspberries, strawberries). So delicious! (pictured in the photo)
- Berry & Barb’s Jam (Strawberries & Rhubarb. Need i saw more?)
Thanks everyone who came out for a day on farm and for helping making Jam! The OFRE jam’s are available weekly at the 124th Grand Market, which runs Thursday evenings from 5-9pm.
Posted in Pickings, Preserving, uncategorized
Tagged 124th street market, 2012, fruit-pick, jam, OFRE, raspberries, Rhubarb, strawberries, u-pick
I’ve been out and about today around Edmonton and noticed that the raspberries and Evans cherries are ripening in some places. Watch for pick announcements coming soon!
OFRE will be back at the amazing Grand Market on 124th St & 108th Ave this Thursday! Come on down and meet the vendors, have a chat with us, and enjoy great local food from the food trucks.
We will be sharing a booth with Ameya Studio (Amy Beaith).
Have a great thursday!
Hey everyone, if you haven’t heard, there is a great event going on tonight at the Black Dog Pub hosted by NextGen’s fabulous crew called: DIYalogue Talks Food. There will be a great group of food enthusiasts, activists, producers, writers, educators, etc. there to talk to anyone who wants to learn more about the local food movement and find ways to get involved or get something started.
Mike Johnson and I have been invited to talk about OFRE tonight. Other amazing people include: Kevin Kossowan, Kirsta Franke, Nate Box Mack Male, Sharon Yeo, and more! There will be great nibblies from Filistix as well as OFRE cider samples!
Thanks everyone for your patience. The new fruit grower form is now available!
Please click on the fruit grower form page to see the new re-vamped fruit grower form for this season. All previous and new growers need to fill out the form.
Don’t worry, it’s a short form and will only take you a few minutes to fill out. We are hoping it will simplify things greatly so that we can get more fruit picked this season. A win win for all!
Ofre recently re-vamped our fruit grower form and will be re-vamping the fruit picker form for the 2012 season. Please be patient as we work through the final details. The forms will be released on our website soon.
News: OFRE’s sign-up forms are NOW READY!!! please click on either “fruit grower registration form” or the “fruit picker & volunteer form” and fill it out.