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When searching out ingredients for favorite local eats recipes, we picked out the fresher than fresh You-pick berry experience in Dublin, GA at Sonrise Farms. A quick trip to the edge of Laurens County, GA found us with buckets overflowing also from Walnut Branch Farm and Smith Farm.

Sweetened by the sunshine, Georgia Grown, U-pick blackberries were our mission when we headed to Sonrise Farms! Set just off the highway, we walked up to a small wooden shed, paid for the bucket size we planned on picking and were off to the patch. We were told that blackberry yield had really burst into the scene this season, and which rows we would have the best luck picking that particular day. Sure enough, those berries were HUGE and the thornless bushes loaded down with ripe and unripened fruit. Several families must’ve had the same idea we did for a fresh air excursion, with children and parents and grandparents competing between the rows to fill their buckets.

It didn’t take long to fill up our red bucket. (We were told we could keep the bucket for our next You-pick adventure!) We wiped the beads of Georgia’s summer heat from our foreheads and headed home swapping ideas for how to best savor our pickings.

Use those local eats pickings for this:

Mixed Berry Jam

2 cups strawberries from Smith’s Farms

2 cups blackberries from Sonrise Farms

2 cups blueberries from Walnut Branch Farm (just over the Laurens County line)

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 cups sugar

Tip: All the local berries, lemons, & limes are also available at Dexter Produce.

Sterilize 3-4 half pint jars, lids, and bands using this water bath canning guide from Ball.

Place berries, sugar, lemon juice, and lime juice in heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium heat and cook uncovered. Stir frequently, cooking until jam has thickened 15-20 minutes.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles with a headspace tool or chopstick. Wipe rims with a clean, damp paper towel and seal with lids and bands.

Process the jars for 10 minutes using this guide from Ball.

Happy local eating!