We drove up the river highway this morning to our favorite
blueberry picking farm--a beautiful, peaceful, pastoral place
that was purchased by its owners 16 years ago
when their boys were young. At the time,
the only thing that grew on the farm was blueberries
(the original berry bushes are 60-years-old),
but the farm was gradually expanded to include
apple and pear trees, raspberries, strawberries, nut trees,
many vegetables, honey, and much more.
The farm boasts quite a menagerie of animals, and hens mingle
with blueberry pickers among the bushes,
pecking away at the ground for insects.
The chickens’ eggs are sold in the farm store,
which was built by hand 16 years ago with mud from
farm property, much of it coming from dirt that was excavated
when the family dug their farm pond.
The boys, who were young when their parents purchased the farm,
grew up helping with every stage of development.
Their mother said they are very hard workers,
and they still work there today.
The first thing we did when we arrived at the farm
was to strap on our harnesses and hook our blueberry buckets to them.
Then we set off in search of berries.
Here's my bucket, hanging from the harness, half full.
Here's the store and the grounds outside the store.
Picnic tables, benches, hammocks, swings, and plenty of
places to sit can be found all around the large farm.
(I have no idea who that girl is on the swing, but she's having fun.)
Inside the store where berries are weighed and paid for,
and farm produce is for sale.
Favorite farm treats are the store's famous homemade
blueberry popsicles made from blueberry nectar and nothing else.
These kids insisted this photo should go on my blog.
(Okay, guys, hope you like it!)
And Conner, the one in the back,
even commanded me to make this my caption:
"We went blueberry picking, and the kids had popsicles."
After paying for our berries and buying popsicles,
we took a stroll through the orchards and gardens.
Farm honey is sold in the store.
When you garden organically, you have to find ways other than spraying
toxic chemicals to protect your produce. I didn't know what the
big red balls hanging from the apple trees were until I looked closely
They attract and collect insects that would damage the crops.
We walked to the canal.
And enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
I reluctantly complied when it was time to leave.
I could have walked around the farm all day.
It's impossible not to thank God for the miracles of His
beautiful Creation when you walk around a place like this.
I bought a pint of strawberries, a few onions, some fingerling potatoes,
and a dozen eggs at the farm store before we left.
Aaron came over this evening, and after dinner,
I made blueberry crostatas. They didn't look as nice as the one
pictured, but they were delicious.
There was lemon in the berry mixture and cornmeal in the crust--
perfect ingredients to go with blueberries.
It was a good day.