Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wild Blueberries Close to Leyden Glen Farm

First off this week, here’s a good article from the NYTimes Magazine section by Michael Pollan about food and cooking that might get you thinking. I wanted to link to it before it disappears. If you don’t get a chance to read it, print it out for later – it is long and I know that sometimes it is impossible to fit something like this into a busy day! Me too - I have the same problem. It has taken me four days to read it!

Here in western Massachusetts it is wild blueberry harvest time. Our neighbors have been harvesting their wild blueberries for a week now. Julia and I drove up to the field last week to see what the crop looked like. It was amazing. I think the water has actually helped the berries! They are literally dripping off the little plants. I personally love their color - the rich dark ultramarine blue is breath-taking. The photo below is at sunset.

I wrote about the burning of the blueberry fields two springs ago here. The burning of the plants forces them to re-grow. On the new growth, the second year, berries grow in abundance. It is very exciting to see the harvest after ten years of the fields not being harvested. I have been taking the wild blueberries to the local Farmer's Markets I have been attending to sell them for my neighbors.

We couldn't resist a little sampling.

The next morning, a bit after sunrise, I drove up to the field to see if I could get any good photos. I got there a bit too late - the sun was already too high in the sky. Here's what it looks like from the field looking to the east and the mountains of New Hampshire.

Here are the berries covered in dew early that morning.

If you are local and want to buy the berries direct from the farm, follow the directions to our farm. At the very end of the directions (at the end of S. Schoolhouse Road), take a left and go up the hill. The berry shack is the middle barn. There is a little sign. They are open for sales from 1 to 5 in the afternoon or by chance.

The berries are $22. for a box of 10 pounds and $42 for a box of 20 pounds. They freeze beautifully. It's nice to go into a winter with a bunch of wild blueberries in your freezer for pies, scones, muffins, and yogurt.


Willow said...

It's interesting that my friends' blueberry ranch out here in SoCal will not have berries until November, but then there will be constant berry picking until May or June!

Turtle said...

we planted blue's this year but it may be a year or two before they berry. (more than likely they will berry well when we go to sell this home) Usually we are lucky enough to have our wonderful neighbors off on their sailboat for the summer and have permission to raid their bushes and stock the freezer well. They are staying home this year, le sigh..smile, so no raiding! As a child i remember hiking up welch and dickey mtns in NH to pick the berries. We would assign one back pack strictly for the berries....yum!

Sara said...

They look amazing! One of my favorite memories is blueberry picking in Texas. Love the pictures!

Hege said...

The kids and I have been picking berries too ;) And they are so big this year here!
I tend to get a little confused about the name... We call these "blåbær" which translated to english means blueberry. But if you look up blåbær at wikipedia and then go to the english site, they are called bilberry. But I see that you call them wild blueberries...

Gigi said...

Hi Kristin,
Lovely blueberry pictures, and your stitching weekend looks wonderful -- wish I could go some day!
After looking all summer, I finally found some locally grown berries at a produce stand here in East Texas and they're soooo good -- been eating them every day this week. Must go back before they're all gone so I can freeze some too. Haven't had much luck with peaches this year. Seems most of the crops were lost to a late freeze ;-(.

Marie said...

We worried about what the rain would do the our blueberries in the Berkshires, but we picked 16 pounds over the weekend and they are luscious. We've frozen ours in "recipe" increments for scones, tarts, pies, pancakes--so when the mood strikes, it is easy to open the ziplocks and bake--happy eating, and fond memories of summer days to get us through New England winters.

Vicki Stammer said...

Kristin, the berries look wonderful. What a treat!

Thanks for the recommendation of the NYT article - I've tweeted it forth in hopes that more people will give it the careful attention it deserves. I particularly liked the observation that "(b)uying, not making, is what cooking shows are mostly now about — that and, increasingly, cooking shows themselves: the whole self-perpetuating spectacle of competition, success and celebrity..."

(I sew and darn socks, too, Mr. Balzer, and enjoy both!)

Many thanks for directing us to this piece. In a hyper-marketized environment, a reminder of the positive consequences of the most fundamental human activities deserves attention.

Vicki Stammer

Harpa J said...

Mmmmm - blueberries...

Mom on Health Patrol said...

Commenting a little late here, but wanted to say blueberries seem to be doing great all over the Northeast this year. Our local farm has cultivated berry bushes, and they are groaning with delicious fruit.

Also wanted to say that I also read that NYT article, and found it very interesting. I think Michael Pollan has become one of my heros for the work he's done articulating the weirdness of the American food scene.