Berry Picking and Jam Making

Nearly every summer when we were growing up we would pick berries. The days were long and hot, all 3 kids piled into the back of the station wagon.  On arrival to the farms each child got given a bucket, but we would eat more than we collected. We picked raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.

Mum would then spend the hot evenings (I always remember these days being so hot) making jam out of which ever fruit we picked, waiting up while the jam cooked to setting point. We would play backyard cricket, while waiting to fight over who got to lick the plate that mum tested if the jam was setting or not on.

Last weekend J went berry picking for the first time, I couldn’t believe he had never been before, but it just wasn’t part of how they were brought up.

J picking

Clare picking

He has been so excited by the idea of self sustainability, and this was just another way that we can be more proactive towards that.  We picked 2.2kg of strawberries and I knew that they were all going to become jam.

I’ve always heard that strawberry jam was hard to make, it was time consuming, and didn’t set quite enough, but the jam is delicious.

strawberry jam

jam on toast


Do you make your own jam?  Have you tried strawberry?



  1. Chelsea says

    We never went fruit picking as kids, BUT we did lean over the neighbours fence and take the plums from their tree :) he he.

    Mum used to make jam – she makes it in the bread maker (STRANGE I KNOW) – I love home made jam. It’s delicious :)

    • Clare says

      I love that she makes it in a bread maker! We used to pick plums from over our neighbours tree too, delicious!

  2. Liz says

    We always went berry picking as kids too and you’re right it did seem like it was always hot. I suspect that was due to a general lack of air conditioning rather than really being a reflection on the weather. Plus I know I used to always whine about the heat to try and get mum to buy us icy poles.

    • Clare says

      Yeah I think you’re right about the lack of air conditioning, and the icy poles. I think this was a tricked used across all berry picking children!

  3. Claire @ Claire K Creations says

    Will and I went berry picking for the first time last year and it was fantastic. He didn’t want to go but I dragged him there and he loved it. Oh the smell of the car on the way home was just wonderful. I can’t wait for strawberry season this year!
    I hope you’ll be sharing your jam recipe :-)

    • Clare says

      The smell is just amazing. Claire I wasn’t going to share my jam recipe, only because I’m not 100% sure of it. I sort of meshed a few together that I’d found on the Internet. There’s plenty out there though.

  4. Lin says

    It’s so delicious looking! I’ve never made jam before but my MIL makes it all the time. She actually just made us some Kiwi jam last weekend. The thing was so amazing that I’m hoarding all the extra jars haha.

    • Clare says

      Kiwi jam sounds delicious! If only I had a huge store of Kiwi’s at the moment. I’m definitely going to be hoarding more jars for next year!

  5. Christine says

    Last year I made strawberry jam to give as gifts at Christmas-time. I, too, had heard that strawberry jam never quite sets. In my determination to make sure that it *would* set, I managed to make the solidest strawberry jam known to man. There’s still a half-eaten jar in my fridge, and a few months ago I turned it upside-down, just to see how long it would take for the “jam” to be affected by gravity. So far, nothing!

  6. Heather Mulholland says

    This story made me smile. Alas, I’ve rarely gone fruit picking, I don’t do well in the heat and bending over for a full day with the sun on my back would put me in sunstroke for the next two days. I live in farm country so we always pick up cases of fresh berries from our local berry farms. I cheat I know lol We tried balsamic strawberry freezer jam last year which was delicious. Num num.

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