I'm anticipating a good harvest and "putting food up" season. In preparation for this, I've been tiding up the storage areas. I rearranged and cleaned the shelves, swept the floor, taken inventory of the empty jars. (note to self, I have 3 cases regular quart jars, one case of wide mouth quart, 1 case wide pints, 2.5 cases regular pints, a half case of 6 oz jelly jars and a half case of 4 oz. jars.) Today I'm tackling the freezer. On the top shelf I store bags of fruit. Last year I foraged gallons of fruit; elderberries, blackberries, mulberries, chokecherries, blueberries, even a few raspberries. Add to that some bags of pick-your-own strawberries, some extra cranberries (store bought), and a bag of garden rhubarb I found stuffed in the back.
I'm simmering all the fruit along with a few sticks of cinnamon, some orange peels and plus , a few cloves in a big pots to make lots of mixed juice that I'll be canning. I'll add a little sugar and lemon or lime juice to taste, then I'll pour them into sterilized jars, cover and process 20 min in a hot water bath.
Elderberry ( Sambucus canadensis )
Choke Cherry ( Prunus virginiana )
Mulberry ( Morus nigra )
Wild Blueberry ( Vaccinium sp.)