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July 09 2018 - #WeAreBerrySocial

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Last week we all gathered to prep local strawberries for this week's Jam Making workshop lead by Deb Abbot. Stories, recipes and memeories were shared as we ploughed through the 56 litres of fresh berries as a team. I am including some tips here from the Berry Growers of Ontario in the event that you want to be "Berry Social" too! Enjoy the season and either create or enjoy the memories. kk 

Be Berry Social! “Host & Post”
Nothing says summer like fresh local berries shared with friends.
Host a Berry Social and give back to your community by bringing friends together, supporting local farmers and enjoying the sweet fresh taste of summer.
Host: A Berry Social...this can be a jam making party, coffee for 2, book club, whatever friendship gathering you want that celebrates local berries! Take a picture including the berries and post with #WeAreBerrySocial #OntarioBerries (sharing your favourite Berry recipes)
A few of our favourite Berry Social ideas 
Buy Lots:
Check with friends on how many Litres they would like to purchase to take home and what they would like for future use! Have each person bring their own storage containers but have some on hand just in case.
Have a Jam Session: make Jam while you Jam Out to fun berry inspired music like any of Chuck Berry’s Hits, The Beatles: Strawberry Hill OR Google songs with “berries” in them ... there are many!
Make Overnight Chia Jam: include your signature recipe 
Make Classic Freezer Jam: include your signature recipe 
Make Classic Stove-top jam: include your signature recipe 
Buy local: check out the roadside stands and the markets. They will be the freshest berries you
can find since they are picked that day and replenished throughout the day!
Don’t waste a morsel!
Greens are gold: when freezing strawberries or raspberries for smoothies or purées, don’t worry about removing the tops! The greens are a nutrition powerhouse that blend up beautifully especially if using a high speed blender or food processor.
Use your fingers: no knife required when removing tops, they pull right off and prevent wasting any of the precious sweet berry.
Rinse don’t soak:
Clean berries right before eating or freezing for future enjoyment.
Gently rinse to avoid berries absorbing too much water which will cause them to deteriorate more quickly. Layer large baking sheet with paper towel, spread out berries and pat dry as well. Try to absorb as much liquid as possible to keep berries firm.
Flash Freeze: To prevent berries from sticking together when transferred to freezer bag or container, spread clean, dry berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes or until semi-frozen; transfer to storage containers we and return to freezer.
Give Back:
Invite Friends to bring an item to support the local Community Food Center.
1.Items from the "Good Foods List" like dried lentils and canned goods (fish or vegetables)2.In Ottawa area cash or donation on the Reverse Food Truck website is best! https://parkdalefood.reversefoodtruck.ca/3. Gift Cards to Grocery Store

For more information connect with us info@berrygrowers.org

#goodfoodforeveryone #aplaceforfood #berrysocial #weareberrysocial #goodfoodorganization #ontarioberries