Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Strawberry jam smackdown

Nobody can deny that the best strawberry jam is homemade, either hot processed or freezer jam. But trying to find decent strawberries in the dead of winter is difficult to say the least, and expensive.

I managed to find a commercial brand that tastes about as close to homemade as you can get. Cascadian Farms Strawberry Fruit Spread is not only organic but local (well, Oregon at least). It's pricey, but it sure beats the corn syrupy taste of Smuckers Strawberry Jam.

Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon Smuckers Organic Strawberry Jam the other day at the grocery store. Looking at the label seemed promising -- the high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and sugar from the regular brand was replaced by organic sugar in the organic version. In fact, the ingredient list was almost identical to Cascadian Farms, except it wasn't nearly as expensive.

Today, when I finished the jar of Cascadian Farms and opened the Smuckers Organic I was a little excited to compare the two. Unfortunately, the consistency of the Smuckers Organic wasn't very appealing. The taste was better than the regular, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Cascadian Farms. The texture left much to be desired and, in spite of the lower cost, I'll be sticking with Cascadian Farms.

So, here are the results, in order, of today's Strawberry Jam Smackdown:

1. Homemade jam
2. Cascadian Farms Strawberry Fruit Spread
3. Smuckers Organic Strawberry Jam
4. Smuckers Strawberry Jam


Eva said...

Hi There!
I just stumbled across your blog... and I love it! We too are trying to start a garden, and are located in S. Seattle. It will be my first, and I'm worried about the soil. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Eva -- thanks for visiting! I think the soil in our yard is healthy but I'm concerned about what I don't see.

I know our neighbors are quite liberal with the insecticides and who knows what the previous owners put on the lawn or pressure washed off the fences.

That's why I'm doing raised beds for the main garden. I'll write more about it soon as I just picked up the lumber today.

El said...

Hello CC

My raised beds are fairly simple, but Carol at May Dreams Gardens puts chunks of 4x4 in the inside corners of hers, and then screws the outside wood to them. (Mine are edge screwed; they've been fine for 3 years so far. I also have 2x2s standing up in some corners as hose guards.) So go look at
for raised bed tips.

I like reading up on your "challenges." I dragged my family to the country from the city to do the rural homesteading thing. It's been fun so far, but I do miss good take-out!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hi El,

Thanks for the link. I like the idea of the 4x4 in the corners, but I think I'm going with edge screwed unless things look shaky.

You have more nerve than I do... I like the idea of moving to the country, but I'm not sure I could handle it. Although I would love some goats, chickens and rabbits!

I grew up in suburbia and have lived in the city for the last 17 years so I'm fairly ignorant in all of this and every little thing is a huge learning experience. But I'm having fun with what I've done so far.

Who knows what the future holds. Maybe there will be chickens and llamas some day.