It's Blueberry Time on the Farm

| 6/19/2014 9:19:00 AM

Chef ElizabethOne of the great benefits of living on a farm is the availability of produce from other farmers. For me it’s a big part of why I chose this lifestyle. Every chef dreams of being able to prepare just picked produce. All the years in the kitchens I longed to be able to grow my own. Now I can.

This will be my third summer on the farm – Wynyates Farm. After fighting marauding pests that consumed half my crop for the last two summers, I have learned a few lessons. It is not just pests, it is also the malevolent weeds that threatened my harvest. I learned very quickly and in real terms why organic produce is so expensive. The labor that is required is very intensive. No rest for an organic farmer. For fun I like to visit local farms and pick what I do not grow myself.

Helping Me Pick
This is a great group activity … you can pick a lot of blueberries in a short time.

Oceans Blueberries
You can gather a lot in a short time.

I just got back from picking organic blueberries from a local farm on Georgian Bay, Ontario. I took a crew with me, and we ended up with almost 40 pounds of berries for $62! I encourage everyone to locate an organic pick-your-own. These are the very best berries to freeze to use later. They bake up perfectly in muffins, scones and quick breads and crisps. Blueberries are fabulous in smoothies, in yoghurt and in your morning cereal. We all know about their health benefits, and freezing does not destroy their anthocyanin antioxidants. Read this report on The World's Healthiest Foods. My Son Picking Berries
Everyone pitches in and gets to eat the “fruits” of their labors.

Holding Spoils Of the Day
Holding the spoils of the day.
8/21/2014 3:28:47 PM

Hi Lori- thank you for the warm welcome- I am just getting used to using the blog- Glad to hear that you could spend some time in Ontario- I live minutes from Georgian Bay- I love the sound of your son's farm and he is lucky to have you there to help!! We all need all the help we can get. This summer has flown by and my crops are disappointing- more lessons for next year. I tell you we had far too much rain. It is the first time in years that I barely harvested a single zucchini.I will check out your blog for sure- I love reading about how others face the farm life. Cheers!! Chef Elizabeth

6/21/2014 4:56:14 PM

Welcome, Chef Elizabeth, to Cappers! What a great post...and THANK YOU for the blueberry bread recipe! I'll definitely be making that one :-) You brought back a great memory for a high school student back in Michigan, I took two summertime backpacking trips on the Bruce Trail around the Georgian Bay, departing from Tobermorey. Gorgious country! I am currently living on my son's farm in the Driftless Region of SW Wisconsin, helping him get it started (he's 22 and single, so he's stuck with my help, LOL!). He is raising pastured, organic (not certified, but all chem-free), poultry and eggs, and will be adding grassfed lamb and fruit & nut-raised pork in the coming years. I understand what you mean about labor-intensive, doing this without factory-style, chemically-intensive farming. But it is SO worth it! Welcome again, I'm looking forward to reading more from you! Blessings, Lori Havens

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