During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies http://marcysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Raspberry Jam

Yesterday I made 3 pints of freezer raspberry jam with raspberries that I planted, weeded, trimmed, watered, and picked with my own hands.  Since DH and I married, we have moved about 6 times. Almost every time we have lived in a place where I could garden, I have planted raspberry plants.   Several times we moved just as the plants started producing a fair amount of raspberries. Almost 15 years ago we bought our current home, and shortly thereafter I bought and planted several raspberry bushes.   For nearly 15 years I have gathered the berries handfuls at a time . . . just enough for a little snack for myself and my family.  Finally after nearly 15 years, yesterday I was able to gather a whole 6 cups of berries, enough to make one batch of raspberry freezer jam!   Hooray!
I admit that I like to garden.  I enjoy spending time outdoors, digging in the dirt, planting seeds and seedlings, and harvesting food for my family.  I don’t always relish pulling and digging weeds in the hot sun, but I do enjoy the satisfaction of seeing, and eating the results of my labors.  I don’t get huge yields from my small efforts, but most years we do get a pretty fair variety of vegetables throughout the summer and fall.   Some might say that my gardening habit is rather expensive.  I admit that it can be, especially if you consider all of the hours that I devote to my garden.   I was raised on a farm and though I will be the first to admit that I am not the hardest worker in my family, I did learn that chores needed to be done in a timely manner if good results from crops and animals are expected.   The stories of the Little Red Hen and the Ants and the Grasshopper are based on truth!
I am afraid that many in our society have no idea what it would take to be self sufficient.  Sometimes I wonder what would happen if some great calamity came upon this country or the world, and no one was able to transport the many goods across this great land in the way that we are accustomed to. How many of us could go for a week, a month, or even longer without making a trip to the local grocery store or mall?  How many of us realize and appreciate the work that goes into producing the food that we eat?  Many of us spend our days working sedentary jobs and need to make extra time to get the exercise that our bodies need to be healthy. 
I do not believe that we all need to revert to an agrarian society where everyone is self sufficient, but I do think it is good for ever individual to have some experience with physical labor, whether it be gardening and food production, or some other form of physical labor.   In The Book of Mormon, we can read where King Benjamin taught his people the importance of supporting themselves with their own labors by his own example and teachings:
I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you . . . And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken ye yourselves are witnesses this day. 
Mosiah 2:12,14 (pg 148)
And he also commanded them that the priests whom he had ordained should labor with their own hands for their support.  And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God that they might wax strong in the Sprit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God.
Mosiah 18:  24, 26 (pg 182)

I won’t expound any further except to say that I value work, including physical work, and treasure seeing the fruits of my labor!  Gotta love that Rasberry Jam!
(If you would like to learn more about The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ and it’s teachings, you can read about it here.   If you would like to read more about what this book means to me, read my post here . If you would like to have your own copy, feel free to email me at marcyhowes@gmail.com, and I will be sure that you receive a copy.)


  1. I love how you are able to relate common-day experiences with the Book of Mormon! So helpful and true.

    Also, I agree with you, there is a need for us to learn to do some of the basics. I have to admit, I haven't always had a garden. In fact, this is the first year I had a garden. I have always wanted one, but have always lived in small apartments - so the most I could do is have an herb garden.

    Our garden this year hasn't been that successful. It was a very hot, dry summer. We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, beans, and peppers. We got several green beans, but I didn't realize how many plants we would need in order to have a harvest large enough to feed our family. The tomatoes started nicely, and would have been great - if it wasn't for the DEER!!! We have had luck with the cucumbers and peppers...and our basil...has been amazing!

    Even though we didn't have a bounteous harvest of tomatoes and the things that we were hoping, we have learned a lot. There is something about getting out in the dirt and working hard for your food. Perhaps the great calamity we are experiencing isn't only our dependence...but perhaps the real calamity is how divorced we have become from something as simple as planting a seed, nurturing it, and enjoying the harvest...

    sorry about the long comment, but I really liked this post!
    -chococatania (That Good Part)

  2. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your great thoughts. I've been thinking a lot lately about how important it is for us to try and be as self-sufficient as possible, and how the people in the Book of Mormon were always happiest and closest to the Lord when they were working hard for everything they had.
    I'm so grateful that the scripture apply to every part of our lives. Thanks again for sharing.