Looking for a local, pick-your-own farm in United States? Scroll down this page and select your region of the state for a list of U-Pick farms in United States, sorted by county. Farms offering organic or sustainably grown produce are identified by the words "organic" and/or "sustainable" in Green, next to their name. If they have a website, the name will be in blue and underlined; click on it and it will open their website.
And if you know of one I missed and want to add it or correct the information, please let me know! This website is supported by purchases you make through the links to products on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This allows me to continue to maintain the website and make improvements!
If you like blackberries or raspberries in the winter, for muffins, pancakes, cobblers, pies or just in a bowl; just imagine how good it would taste if you had picked a couple of quarts fresh or bought a them from a farm stand and then quickly froze them at home! It is also one of the simplest ways to put up a fruit for the winter. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. Your own frozen berries will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store. I'm using blackberries as an example in the photos below, but this same process works exactly the same for any other berries listed above. Blueberries and strawberries are bit different (see this page for strawberries) and (see this page for blueberries).
This also works for cherries, but you may want to pit them before freezing them.
Start with the freshest berries you can get. Look for plump, full berries with a good color. I've used blackberries as an example, but these directions would equally well for any similar berry (tc.) See the picking tips page for other berries, such as Raspberries, Tayberries, Marionberries, Ollalieberries, Boysenberries, Loganberries, etc.
Yes, you will get a lot of dirt and even bugs out of them. You may have heard that blueberries and related berries (like saskatoons) should not be washed before freezing (and that is true, see this page about freezing blueberries, saskatoons and huckleberries) . But all other berries should be washed before freezing. I put a colander or strainer in a large bowl, fill it with colcold water and swirl the blueberries in it with my fingers. That avoids breaking them and dirt either floats, which I pick out, or sinks and is removed when I lift the strainer out of the bowl.
Use a large sieve or colander to remove as much water as possible. I usually let them sit for about 10 minutes in the colander
There are two ways of doing this. If you have space in your freezer, spread the berries out in a large oven pan with a lip or ridge. Put enough on to make 1 layer. this way they will freeze quickly and not be frozen together in a lump, so later you can remove only what you need without thawing the rest.f your freezer isn't that big, just drain as much of the water as you can, then put them into whatever container will fit in your freezer. After they are frozen, they may stick together a little bit, but should break apart fairly easily.
Pop them into the coldest part of the freezer, or the quick freeze shelf, if your freezer has one!>I leave them in the freezer overnight, to get completely frozen.
I love the FoodSavers ( target="_top" href="canningfoodsealers.htm">see this page for more information)) with their vacuum sealing! I am not paid by them, but these things really work. If you don't have one, ziploc bags work, too, but it is hard to get as much air out of the bags. remove the air to prevent drying and freezer burn. On the left is the bag with frozen berries before vacuum sealing, and to the right is the same bag after vacuum sealing. Of course, you can use ziploc bags (see below), but they leave a lot more air in, which allows some freezer burn.
Note: I typically write the labels on the bags with a Sharpie permanent marker BEFORE I fill the bags (it's easier) rather than after, as shown in step 7) tip for a low budget vacuum sealer: font SIZE="2">
"To "To remove the excess air from a ziploc bag, put a straw inside the bag and zip it closed as far as possible. Then suck the air out of the bag, pinch the straw shut where it enters the bag and pull it from the bag and quickly zip the bag the rest of the way"
Of course, you will want to label them with the contents and date, or all this work could be wasted, if you can't identify them later, or don't know how old they are.
Pop them into the deep freeze, or in the coldest part of your regular freezer!
To thaw them, just set them in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a couple of hours. I wouldn't recommend the microwave unless you are planning to cook with them!t /font>
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pic
These are my favorite essential canning tools, books and supplies. I've been using many of these for over 50 years of canning! The ones below on this page are just the sampling of. my preferred tools. but you can find much more detailed and extensive selections on the pages that are linked below.
This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child.; It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.
If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving
Canning and Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward
This is another popular canning book. Click here for more information, reviews, prices for Canning and Preserving For Dummies
Of course, you do not need to buy ANY canning book as I have about 500 canning, freezing, dehydrating and more recipes all online for free, just see Easy Home Canning Directions.
I have several canners, and my favorite is the stainless steel one at right. It is easy to clean and seems like it will last forever. Mine is 10 years old and looks like new.
The black ones are the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce.
This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, Jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. It's only missing the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book.
You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!
The complete list of canners is on these pages:
If you plan on canning non-acidic foods and low acid foods that are not pickled - this means: meats, seafood, soups, green beans corn, most vegetables, etc., then you ABSOLUTELY must use a Pressure Canner.
Of course, you can use a pressure canner as a water bath canner as well - just don't seal it up, so it does not pressurize. This means a Pressure Canner is a 2-in-1 device. With it, you can can almost ANYTHING.
There are also other supplies, accessories, tools and more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
From left to right:
Don't spend money on books. that you don't need to. Almost everything you can find in some book sold online or in a store is on my website here for free. Start with theEasy Home Canning Directions below. That is a master list of canning directions which are all based upon the Ball Bblue book, the National Center for Home Food Preservation and other reputable lab tested recipes. Almost every recipe I present in addition to being lab tested com. is in a step by step format with photos for each step and complete. explanations. that tell you how to do it, where to get the supplies and pretty much everything you need to know. In addition, there almost always in a PDF format so you can print them out and use them while you cook.
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book