Just before the holiday weekend hit, since the children at Elizabeth's and Finn's school were out of school at noon, we decided to pick strawberries with a few other families who were interested. Many of the local (spray-free) you-pick farms were closed on Friday to save strawberries for the weekend pickers, but we managed to find an out-of-the-way farm with plenty ripe and ready-for-picking berries.
In fact, I nearly filled my first gallon bucket in 10 feet of row...and in less than 10 minutes!
Of course, the kids ate nearly as many as they picked.
I think Finn was just rooting through the bushes to find the fattest, juiciest berries to eat while we picked.
Each of the kids did manage to fill their buckets at least half way.
(And Finn probably ate at least that many!)
The older girls did their picking as far away from the moms as they could manage. They each picked nearly a gallon though.
The berry picking was over once several of the kids found a giant pile of dirt to conquer.
Once we were back home, I started processing and canning the strawberries quickly as we were heading out of town for the weekend early on Saturday morning. With the 4 gallons we picked, I made some Strawberry-Vanilla Jam, Strawberry-Mango Jam, and a few pints of Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate. (I had already purchased 3 gallons at the farmer's market and canned Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate some of those.)
As for the recipes, the Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate link is above, and the Strawberry Jam recipe is straight from the Pomona pectin box. For the Strawberry-Mango Jam, I used 2 cups of crushed strawberries, 2 cups of crushed mango, and 1 cup of sugar, then split the difference in the pectin as directed in the box of Pomona pectin. For the Strawberry-Vanilla Jam, I added a split and scraped 8-inch vanilla bean to 8 cups of crushed strawberries and 2 cups of sugar, then let the berries sit with the vanilla bean for an hour before following the directions in the Pomona pectin for that amount of strawberries. I removed the vanilla bean during the jarring process.