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Strawberries: In a Jam

June 21, 2013

StrawberriesWhether canned, baked in a pie, or dipped in chocolate, people love strawberries! Red, ripe, sweet strawberries are in season right now, and it’s not too late to start growing them at home. Strawberries grow very well in small pots and in hanging baskets, so it is easy to start a few in places around the house such as your porch or even a window sill. Be sure to place the container in an area that receives a lot of light.

There are two types of strawberries. June bearing plants produce all at once in June. Everbearing plants produce a lighter crop of delicious berries from late spring through fall. And unlike June bearing plants, everbearings do not produce runners, which make them much easier to maintain in a container.

It is fun and easy for kids to get involved in strawberry planting. Kids can decorate their own pots and create their own design for a pot pyramid or hanging basket. It also helps that the berries are especially yummy.

One of the most rewarding parts of gardening is the harvest. Summertime offers many opportunities for berry lovers to get out to a strawberry festival or pick-your-own patch. Taking children to a patch is not only a lesson in harvesting but also promotes healthy eating, and reinforces the fact that strawberries do not grow in one of those plastic containers from the grocery store.

A simple strawberry jam recipe that both kids and adults enjoy is listed below. Feel free to post your family’s favorite strawberry jam or dessert recipe in the comments section at the bottom of this blog post.

Recipe:
1 pound hulled, quartered strawberries
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a heavy saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir on low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring often, for 7-10 minutes. Transfer the hot preserves to a container and refrigerate.

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