Friday, January 22, 2010


Remember the ridiculous amount of canning jars my mother purchased as drinking glasses for the wedding? Well, one of the reasons I wanted to use canning jars was because I want to start canning, and I figure if I have 17 cases of jars sitting around the house, maybe I'll find some motivation! Oh, and they were adorable, but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, when I was visiting Etsy's How To page for my last post, I saw the tutorial for these hand-stitched jar toppers. Which reminded me of my desire to learn the age old art of preservation. This year. It's going to happen.

So then I decided that I should probably find a "canning calendar". Guess that doesn't really exist, so I suppose I'll need to make my own. Luckily, this funky little website has some good local information. Actually, it's got good info for anywhere in America--check it out!

Ok, so here's the growing calendar for the middle of the state:

Typical Crop / Harvest Availability Dates for South and Central California (all but the southern 1/4, the northern 1/4 and the coastal area)

In Chronological Order

AsparagusMarch -April
StrawberriesApr.10 - June 30
BlackberriesJune 1 - July 30
BlueberriesMay 15 - June 30
BoysenberriesMay 10 - July 5
Cherries (more detail)May 5 - June 30
ApricotsMay 10 to August 15
PeachesMay 20 - September 5
NectarinesMay 20 - September 15
OlallieberriesJune 1 to July 31
PlumsJune 1 - September 5
PearsAugust 10 - September 10
Green BeansJune 15 - September 15
PeasJune 15 - September 15
CornJune 25 - September 30
RaspberriesJuly 1 - September 15
GrapesJuly 10 - October 15
ApplesJuly 15 (early apples) - September 25
TomatoesJuly 15 - September 15
OkraJuly 15 - September 15
AlmondsAugust 20 - December . 13
FigsSeptember 05 - October 31
PersimmonsSeptember 20 - October 31
WalnutsSeptember 25 - Jan. 10

And here you'll find a link to all the U-Pick farms in the area, sorted by County. Thank goodness for Contra Costa County! Brentwood even has a website, brochure, map, and calendar dedicated to their growing season and farms, Harvest Time in Brentwood. They're as organized around their produce farms as Livermore is around its wineries. So cool! Even cooler? Brentwood is just a quick trip from Livermore on the backroads.

So here are some goal dates for what to pick and preserve when:
  • April: Strawberry Jam, Santa Rosa
  • May: Apricot Jam, Brentwood
  • June: Blackberry Jam, Pescadero
  • July: Raspberry Jam, Menlo Park
  • August: Tomato Sauce & whole tomatoes, Fremont
  • September: Apple Butter & Sauce, Petaluma or Auburn area
  • October: Fig Chutney, Sacramento area or Brentwood
  • November: Almond Butter, Brentwood
I'm hopeful that this will also provide some great Tour de la Bay opportunities! So, who wants to play??

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