For an example, when I pick my raspberries, I put the buckets into the fridge until I have time to clean them. Try not to put leaves, twigs or bad fruits into your bucket.
I let it soak for a little while, drowning any of those lurking little bugs. I go handful by handful, shuffling them over in my hands and removing anything not worthy. Be very careful not to rinse soft fruit with high powered spray of water. I put the good fruit in a colander to drip dry while I clean the remainder. Unwanted stuff gets put into the compost bucket. I also peel, slice and pit if needed, before freezing. Once the fruit is dry blotting with a paper towel helps , I freeze the fruit in a single layer, on a cookie sheet until firm, then transfer to a plastic bag.
This is a great way to keep the fruit from sticking together and freezing in one huge lump. Removing as much air as possible also helps protect the fruit against freezer burn. Every bag that goes into the freezer is also labelled with the type of fruit and the year. Why we like freezing the fruit prior to wine making… It allows you to process smaller amounts of fruit if you are strapped for time or do not have enough fruit ready all at once. It protects your fruit from bacteria until you can make your wine. It kills any little critters that might have been missed during cleaning.
It breaks down the cellular structure of the fruit, which allows for the whole fruit to be used. No pressing or crushing of the fruit is required. It helps release the juice trapped in the flesh of the fruit. Allows you to mix different fruits from different growing seasons. Processing tips for making wine at our shop: Soak or rinse all of the fruit clean. Blossoms ends are notorious for hiding those little aphids. Birds love saskatoon bushes and it's not uncommon to find bird crap on your berries.
Raspberries usually hide little green worms. These are all things that we don't want to add to your wine. Cut larger fruit into golf ball sized pieces; rhubarb can be in 2" pieces.
No need to process it any finer. Most of the time the fruit breaks down quite easily during stirring. If possible, remove all stems, leaves, seeds, cores and pits from fruit. Woody pieces can impart a bitterness into your wine. Leaves usually harbor wild yeasts that can compete with the added wine yeast, and give funky tastes. Pits of certain fruits can contain certain types of dangerous toxins! Chokecherries are the exception. They are impossible to pit.
Peel all fuzzy fruits such as peaches, apricots and kiwis. This fuzz can also be problematic in clearing your wine. Let the wine maker know if you used lemon juice or a fruit preservative on the fruit that is being used for making wine! No matter which freezer bags you use, more often than not, they will leak once the fruit starts to thaw. Maybe the plastic breaks down over time; maybe the bags get snagged or nicked when in the freezer.
Always put your bags into a clean container that can catch all of the leaking juice. This juice should not be dumped out. There's lots of flavor and color that can be added to your wine! Photo from www. Step 1 - Picking Your Fruit photo from hestons. We'd load up in the farm truck, buckets, bug spray and a lunch Grandma had packed, Grandpa's gun in the back window, and head down to the hills of the Peace River for some berry picking.
We had a "special place" they liked to go. Before the popularity and necessity of sunscreen, we'd usually return home with bug bites, sunburn and a few buckets full of saskatoons.
Being out with my grandparents was always fun, but I sure didn't like picking berries. Not a fan of saskatoons, I would usually find myself a spot and stay there all day, dreaming and swatting the mosquitoes, probably whining about wanting to go home. Fast forward 30 years and here I am, an avid berry picker.
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Maybe just a chance to relive times with my grandparents, maybe because I am happy to have an abundance of natural and healthy food to feed my own family. As my grandparents and parents did to me and my sister, I now pack up my kids as well and make them come picking. I still hate cleaning the berries once I bring them home.
Step 2: Clean and Sanitized
A tedious job as my OCD kicks in high gear. Never a leaf, bug or spoiled fruit would be found in my cleaned berries! But, where do you find fruit? If you don't have the great advantage of owning property that has wild fruit bushes, you'll need to find someone who is willing to let you onto their property. Edge of roads and on the hill sides are great areas where saskatoons can be found in our area.
But remember, some of these places could be privately owned. Always ask for permission before entering on private property. Chokecherry trees can be found on the banks of the Peace River and Beatton River hills. Patches of wild raspberries , wild strawberries , wild blueberries , huckleberries, cranberries, rosehips and other edibles can be found all over the Peace area. Ask around. PS - I would love it if someone would share their huckleberry patch with me!
Crabapples can be found in lots of backyards in most of the older homes in Fort St. There are cherry trees planted at the Pomeroy Sports Centre. If you have a fruit tree, don't want to use the fruit, don't want to clean up the fruit on the ground and have it go to waste - think about letting people come pick it! Leave your name at our shop and I will pass it along to those looking for extra fruit. Find out what's safe to eat!
Food & Wine Trails - May/June by BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine - Issuu
Pick with the small and empty it into the large. Hard to walk the hills in flip-flops! Don't ask how I know this!
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You'd hate to get to the berry patch just to find out that it's going to rain and you're unprepared to pick in a downpour. Don't have the time to pick? Check out the different fruit trucks in the area. Since you want ripe fruit for Country Fruit Wines, ask if they have any overripe fruit at a discount.
Make sure you check it over. Spoiled or rotten fruit cannot be used to make good wine. Check the grocery store for sales in the produce or freezer sections. We've made many batches of great wine from Costco frozen fruit too! I have 3 bushes at my house. Thanks to roaming wildlife, those bushes have been pruned "naturally". I have only had a handful of berries from my own bushes in the past couple of years.
Thankfully, a wonderful customer who has an abundance of fruit, gave me the opportunity to come out and pick some of her berries, U-Pick style.
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If anyone wants her contact info, or has any other questions about haskaps, send me a message or call the shop at We have been making wine from haskaps for about 3 years now. Use enough berries I like 5 gallons of fruit per 23L batch and you get a wonderfully full bodied wine, rich in color and flavor. I use my saskatoon wine recipe for the haskaps and we've had great success using lime juice instead of acid blend. Whether you like a dry wine, or a sweet dessert-style wine, this berry can do it all.
What to do with your berries if you'd like to come in to make wine You will want them to eat fresh, for wine, jam and syrup. No need to crush, mash, or put them through a blender. Make sure you thaw them in a clean container to catch the juice. That stuff stains bad! Yes, it is messy. Transfers of personally-identifying information may also be made where necessary for the establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims.
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