Pick Your Own Blueberries in Strafford, NH

Pick Your Own

Jam It!

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that we now had time to visit some other farms for fresh fruit and produce.  One of the best farms around our area for fruit throughout the growing season is Butternut Farm in Farmington, NH which my husband and I recently visited for some awesome peaches and early apples.  We definitely have “farm envy” when we visit the lovely farm owned by Giff and Mae Burnap.  Lots of peach trees loaded with fruit greeted us the day we picked.

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We hauled our bounty home and I created a new jam recipe with the peaches and blueberries (of course)!

Ginger Peachy Blueberry Jam

4 Cups Chopped Peaches

4 Cups Blueberries (frozen is ok)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup water

5 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ginger (or 2 if you love ginger)

1 package of powdered pectin for jams and jellies

Peel and remove pits of peaches. Chop peaches.  Sort and wash blueberries or thaw frozen blueberries. Measure fruits into a kettle; add lemon juice and water; add pectin.  Bring mixture to a rolling boil and add sugar.  Return mixture to a rolling boil and continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam off top.

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims of jars with a damp cloth; add canning lids.  Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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It’s not too late to get some great late season peaches at Butternut or the farmer’s markets.  Check out Seacoast Eat Local for a list of area farms and farmer’s markets and preserve your bounty with some easy to make jam.  Have fun!

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Having a Good Time, Wish You Were Here!

2011 has been a great year for blueberries.  We are in the midst of our 5th week of picking so make sure you come out soon for the best berries.  We anticipate having fruit through the end of August but will probably have to close near the end of the month to wait for ripening of our late variety.  Blackberries have been slow to ripen but we have many of them and hope to be picking those yummy berries until the end of August.

Our hats have arrived and are for sale at the screen house for $12 along with canvas bags with our logo on them for $10. Below is a picture of Matt who has been our super blueberry picker for the farm this year.  He was gracious enough to model his hat!

 

We have had so many great customers come out this year but we were so pleased to see Bud and Eli last week who have been coming to the farm from Dover for many years.  They have been married for over 70 years and love to pick blueberries.

Thanks to everyone who has come out to pick their blueberries and blackberries this year at the farm…don’t delay if you haven’t come to pick yet…the season won’t last much longer!

Below are some pictures of our redesigned Screen House which our friend Dennis organized and pulled together.  So many people have commented on it and thought we had built it new this year…nope!  It was just an ugly old building that no one would enter…now it houses a freezer with frozen goodies, our jams and jellies, fresh produce and cookbooks all on a lovely antique farm table. Check it out!


Fantastic Opening Day!

Thanks to everyone who came out today to start the blueberry season with a bang!  Lots of great blueberries and lots of great people!  The fruit is coming in fast with the heat of the past few days so we expect all three fields to be open and going strong by the beginning of next week.  The early fruit crop is the best we have seen in years and we’re sure you’ll be happy with the picking conditions.  Here are a few pictures of opening day.


Happy 4th of July!

Yummy strawberries!  New Hampshire is nearing the end of the strawberry season but there is still time to grab some of these before your 4th of July celebration.  Check out your local farmer’s market or head to a local farm to pick your own.  I picked these at the Monahan Farm in East Kingston and made delicious strawberry and strawberry rhubarb jam for the farm this summer.  Check out the website Pick Your Own. Org for a listing of farms by county or head over to Seacoast Eat Local for additional farm and farmer’s market listings.

The blueberry crop for the coming season is looking great and there are tons of berries forming on the bushes but they are still green.  Hopefully we will be open for picking around the second week in July but in the meantime we are busy trying to keep up with the maintenance of the fields.  One of the new projects we have been working on is to update our screen house adjacent to the check out shack.  When we added the screen house six years ago, out plan was to sell the jams, baked goods, veggies and honey from here as our check out shack was too small to add these items.  However, it was never very inviting and most customers were puzzled as to its purpose.  So we have enlisted the help of our good friend Dennis Johnson who has owned and operated a successful florist business in Boston and is the current owner of Zinnia Cottage  and an Etsy storefront specializing in antique and home decor.  Dennis has a great merchandising background and with his help and guidance we are slowly transforming the screen house into the new fabulous farm store. Here are some of the before and in transition photos.  I’ll post the grand reveal soon.

Finally, we had a special guest who visited us at the farm a few weeks ago.  The fabulous Fifi O’Neill and photographer extraordinaire, Mark Lohman were here taking photos for a future project. We managed to provide a spectacular thunderstorm complete with power outages and 90 degree temperatures but Mark and Fifi persevered and the results were spectacular.  That’s all I can say about their visit but if you get a chance, check out Fifi and Mark’s latest book, the lovely Romantic Prairie Style.    


The Blueberry Season is Almost Over

It’s hard to believe that the blueberry picking season is just about over.  We opened 2 weeks early this year due to the warm spring and the warmer than usual summer has pushed our season to the end.  We are anxiously waiting for the Late Blues to ripen which we expect will be near the end of this week and then we will reopen and pick until it’s over!

Thanks to all of our customers who braved the 90 degree plus days to get their blueberries and thanks to Chris and Ben for helping us out again this season.  We wish you good luck in your sophomore year at college!  Below are a few shots of this year’s great customers and employees!


Fantastic Picking Conditions

We have great picking conditions in all three blueberry fields and have started picking some wonderful blackberries from the blackberry patch.  Blackberries are ripening each day so call ahead for best picking times. 

The following pictures are some of our favorite customers!  Be sure to come out soon for best picking conditions.  We are running 10 days ahead of our usual picking schedule because of the very warm spring and summer so we are unsure when our season will end.  The crop looks spectacular this year!


Much Welcomed Rain

Yesterday we finally had a little rain which unfortunately chose to come at 11am when we are the busiest on Saturday.  Although we only received about 1/4 inch of rain, it was very welcome.  Sunday looks to be a dry and cloudy day…perfect for picking blueberries!  Here are some shots of Friday and Saturday’s pickers.