Monday, August 25, 2008


We had a blast at the Aronia Harvest Sunday . . .

That's Teresa's daughter Kira with a big handful of freshly-picked berries, and Sean and Devon (hope I'm not mispelling their names), our most enthusiastic pickers, pointing at the scale that shows how many pounds of berries they picked.

If you'd like to try your hand at aronia jelly, here's Teresa's recipe.

Aronia Jelly

3 1/2 c. juice (You will need 2 pints of aronia to get this much juice)

4 T. lemon juice

1 package low-sugar pectin (such as Sure-Jell in the pink box)

4 c. sugar

Wash fruit and freeze. This allows more juice to be extracted. Cover frozen berries with water; simmer for 15 minutes. Mash the fruit with a potato masher. Strain juice through cheese cloth, squeezing hard to get every drop. Measure juice into a 2 quart kettle, adding a little water, if needed, to make the 1 3/4 cups. Add pectin and stir. Bring to a boil, add sugar, stir, and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil exactly 2 minutes. Skim off foam and pour into jars. Store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aronia Harvest Time Is Here!

Come out to the farm and join Teresa and the crew THIS SUNDAY, Aug. 24, 1:00-6:00 or whenever you need to go.

Teresa called me earlier and said, “I’m out here in the aronia field, and it’s ready!”

“What’s aronia?” you may ask. Well, there are a few pictures here that I took yesterday, but come out and see for yourself!

There will be prizes for the most berries picked, and the opportunity to have your wages donated to the charity of your choice.

Teresa planted two acres of the bushes two years ago, went to Poland a year ago to research harvesting and processing, and is now offering you and your family and friends a day in the country picking them -- with the option of having your “wages” go to either The Land Connection’s New Farmer Scholarship Fund, or the charity of your choice.

Directions to the Aronia Harvest: We are located in between Bloomington and Peoria.

From the East or West. Take the Goodfield Exit on I-74, and go straight through the stoplight in Goodfield. A quarter mile after you leave the village, turn right just before the “Hillside Hideaway” display of wooden gazebos, sheds, play-sets, etc. There is a sign that point to the Yogi Bear Campground at the turnoff.

Follow the road as it zigzags around and goes by the trailer park. When you come to the 2nd stop sign (Grimm Road), turn left. Take the next right (less than ¼ mile) onto 400 North. Go about half a mile to the top of the hill, and look for a sign.