We have wrapped up another season of blueberry and blackberry picking at Berrybogg Farm which was an early one this year. The crop was almost two weeks earlier opening than in years past and the hot summer weather brought the fruit to ripeness fast and furious. Hopefully you were able to get all the blueberries and blackberries you needed this year for freezing and preserving. The cooking classes were a big success and we decided to continue with some fall classes so check out our website soon for a list of future classes.
The only good thing about closing early is enjoying the last few weeks of summer and having time to visit some other farms. My next post will be a tasty recipe using some great peaches I picked at a local farm and blueberries of course! Until then, enjoy some pictures of this year’s season.
This young gentleman brought his parents on the 4th of July for a fun afternoon of picking his first blueberries. He also picked some mighty fine rocks!
This photo is of our friend Carolyn’s new puppy…he’s adorable and he likes to pick blueberries!
The men of Berrybogg Farm! So cute!
A lovely brunch!
Fabulous Blueberry Rhubarb Galette taught at the brunch class by Chef Beverly
Chef Beverly at the end of a great cooking class!
The beginning of blueberry season is days away and with the new season comes the addition of cooking classes at Berrybogg Farm. Beverly Nemitz, local chef and food writer will be teaching a Summer Brunch class and a Fruits of the Season class. Randy Brisson, owner of the local catering firm Dining By Design will be teaching a From Farm to Table class which will focus on local foods. Farm owners, Anne Lake and Julie Butterfield will be teaching a Pies and Muffins class and Outdoor Summer Entertaining class. We will be updating our website soon with more information on the classes (dates and prices) with all classes limited to 10 people so everyone will be comfortable watching (and eating!) in the farm kitchen. Stay tuned for more information.
It has been a great strawberry season this year and one of the easiest recipes to make comes from Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I made a few changes to the original recipe substituting walnut oil for the butter which is a great heart healthy oil to use in place of butter and has a great taste.
3 cups strawberries, halved
3 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup honey (I used our own honey from Mike’s bees!)
Mix together thoroughly and place in an 8×8 ungreased pan.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (or a bit more, to taste)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1.2 tsp allspice
1/3 cup walnut oil
Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over fruit mixture, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or so or until golden brown. I placed a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top but a little scoop of vanilla ice cream would be perfectly acceptable!
Not the movie…the new cookbook recently written by Fifi O’Neill titled The Romantic Prairie Cookbook
which features many great farms and their recipes including two recipes from Berrybogg Farm. Fifi and Mark Lohman came to the farm back in June of 2011 and we had a great time watching a photo shoot evolve during a 90 degree day which culminated with a huge thunderstorm and a power outage! Despite the obstacles, the results are fantastic and the entire book is a work of art. I can’t wait to try the Dark Chocolate Chip Raspberry cookies from Raspberry Fields Farm, the Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Lizzie McGraw, and Fifi’s own Tourtiere recipe which is a staple at the holidays in our neck of the woods.
March has been a busy month of pruning at the farm in temperatures sometimes 40 degrees above the norm for this time of year. Time will tell what the increased temperatures will do to the plants this season but when we had a similar warm spring two years ago it pushed up our opening date by 10 days. However, warm temperatures or not, we will still hold our annual plant sale on May 5 and May 6 with lots of blueberry, raspberry, blackberry plants and peach trees for sale. Stay tuned for more information.
This year we are planning on holding cooking classes in the new farm kitchen during the summer and fall with help from local caterer extraordinaire Chef Randy Brisson. We will be updating the website with more information on these events but we hope to offer a wide range of classes using local ingredients and of course blueberries!
Most of us start the new year with resolutions to eat healthy but a yummy, warm dessert also helps to brighten those cold days of winter! The above picture is a blueberry gingerbread cake warm from the oven with a dollop of cold vanilla ice cream. My mom makes the recipe in an 9 inch square pan but this version was made in an 8 inch cake pan to look more like a traditional cake. Either way, it’s a great way to use your frozen bluberries.
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour milk (to 1 cup milk add 1 tablespoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon baking soda (added to milk)
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
Cream shortening and sugar; add beaten egg. Combine dry ingredients and alternate with sour milk in which soda has been dissolved. Add molasses and blueberries; mix well. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture on top. Bake in 9 X 9 pan in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Delicious served warm!
We just received our shipment of two year old plants and they are ready to plant! In the above picture, our dog Mac is checking out the new blueberry plants for a brief moment and then he was off on a search for tennis balls.
This year we are offering the varieties Patriot and Blue Ray which are cold hardy plants to zone 3. We grow about 600 Blue Rays in our second field and they have always been very successful producing large, sweet berries. The Patriot variety is also a large, sweet berry but the plant itself does not grow as large as the Blue Ray. We recommend two varieties for cross-pollination.
This year we have 3 sale dates for the blueberries and we will also be selling a limited number of raspberry plants. Come visit us on Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 from 9am to 1pm and again on Saturday, May 8 from 9am to 1pm. The blueberry plants will be selling for $14.95 and raspberry plants will be sold for $5 each. Blueberry plants make a nice Mother’s Day gift and are a great native species to use in your landscaping. Unfortunately, we will not be taking phone orders this year so it is first come, first serve.
If you are a member of Facebook, be sure to check out our new Facebook fan page created by my daughter. We hope to post some of the customer pictures here during the season.
We finished pruning the blueberry plants last week which is record time for us. It helps when you don’t have to trudge through 2 feet of snow to begin pruning in March and it also helps that the folks who help us prune are very good. Now comes the part we all dread…picking up the canes!
The picture above is of row 20 in the second field which is a variety called Northland. This particular field was planted about 30 years ago and the Northland plants have experienced extraordinary growth in that time. Maybe too extraordinary! They produce very nice abundant fruit but they tend to take over the rows creating a jungle atmoshphere in our second field. As a result, we have been severely pruning this variety and this particular row was pruned with a chainsaw. In the next picture you will see row 6 in the second field which is another row of Northlands. This row was cut down with a chainsaw about 3 years ago and has grown nicely with a large amount of blossoms for this year.
While we were pruning last week, we spotted a pair of eagles flying very high towards the south over Bow Lake. This was exciting to see because they are probably the pair of eagles which has been seen on Bow Lake for the last two years. Our hope is that this pair will successfully build a nest and produce chicks. For more information on New Hampshire eagles visit the audubon web site at http://www.nhaudubon.org/
Our shipment of blueberry plants has just arrived so stay tuned to the blog for a special offer to buy plants now. We’ll have more information in the next few days.
I had to take a picture of this little boy yesterday because he was having so much fun eating his blueberry pie. Unfortunately, I took the picture when his eyes were closed but it’s still a great picture. Even his outfit was blueberry cute!
I hope the customer who lost her ten dollar bill reads the blog because we found it (in the trash can!) She came with three other ladies and they are celebrating her birthday today (July 13) on Northwood Lake and I think they’re from Walpole, MA. She only comes once a year on her birthday so if she doesn’t get this message, we’ll save it for her next year!
Here’s a great picture of two large baskets of blueberries from our third field. They actually look smaller in this picture but I’m pretty sure they hold about 16 pounds of blueberries each. The lady who picked them went on to pick over 70 pounds of blueberries! That’s a lot of blueberries!