Maine Food for June: Strawberries, Berry Jams, and Spring Peas

UMaine Extension offers tips for using Maine fruits and vegetables available in June

We all look forward to the signs of spring after a long cold Maine winter. Strawberries are definitely one of those spring harbingers we crave.

Freezing berries in season and making your own low-sugar jams and jellies are simple, easy ways to increase your access to a year-round supply of local foods, cut back on sugar and reduce your grocery bill.

Kathy Savoie, UMaine Extension educator, cautions that you should get up-to-date information if you are planning on canning food. Over the years, there have been changes in scientific expertise as well as canning equipment and there is new information on the best methods, canners, jars, and seals to use to ensure a safe result.

Looking for a local food preservation workshop near you to learn more? How about Preserving the Harvest: Strawberry Jam at our UMaine Regional Learning Center in Falmouth (75 Clearwater Dr) on Wednesday, June 27. This hands-on food preservation workshop will teach you the basics of canning and freezing strawberries, including how to use a water bath canner to preserve jam. Learn from the experts. We will provide fresh produce and canning jars. Register online.

Visit UMaine Extension to order or download bulletins to fit this season, including June favorites such as Bulletin #4047 Let’s Preserve Strawberries, Bulletin #4039 Let’s Preserve: Jams, Jellies and Spreads, Bulletin #4383 Freezing Fruits and Bulletin #4256 Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Peas.

Support your local farmer by shopping at a farmers’ market

urban farmers marketThe vibrant farmers’ market scene in Maine offers shoppers a fun way to access fresh food from friendly, hard-working farmers. Most home gardeners in Maine try to have peas to harvest by the Fourth of July, but you can add peas to the menu even earlier by going to local farmers markets and vegetable stands. Common types you will find in the market include shell (green) peas as well as edible-pod peas such as snow peas (Chinese pea pods) and sugar-snap peas.