OFRE volunteers go gleaning at a saskatoon u-pick farm

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.