From the Farmer
FYI, U-pick blueberries are right around the corner but in the mean time we have juneberries. I’m sure most of you have never heard of them but, they have been really well received at the farm this past week.
Probably five years ago we replace our field of raspberries with an berry called a juneberry. Just before the early blueberries, they are ready to be harvested . It’s a unique little berry that looks like a blueberry but tastes like a cross between a blueberry and a dark cherry with a hint of almond flavor in its soft seed.
These berries, which are bursting with high levels of protein, calcium, iron and antioxidants. In fact, they are one of the highest recorded antioxidants capacities of any fruit or vegetable. Put that in your smoothie and drink it! It has been said that they once sustained Native American populations and helped protect European settlers from scurvy.
This week they will be available for u-pick at $4.00/pint. Give them a try, they are very tasty. These berries start of red and turn a blue-black color when ripe and they are easy to pick. Eat them just like they are or if you like they make wonderful muffins, jams and cobblers.
This week we also hosted a Twilight Meeting. About 70 agricultural specialist and farmers converged here to hone their skills and to figure out how they could apply new technologies and ideas to farms across the state. We have hosted many of them in the last few years since we work closely with UMass extension, the coordinators of these events. This session was on irrigation and we learned a ton.
Water, especially the lack of it, is a huge issue. Irrigation systems not only have the ability to apply water but they can also deliver soluble organic fertilizers too, giving the plants the nutrients when they need them the most. We were fortunate to have a specialist from the agricultural community who is promoting organic products that can be used in our drip system.
Up until now, we have only had fish emulsion to work with. Now we are seeing products that are higher in nitrogen and potassium made available to farmers like us.
I can’t wait for the next opportunity to be with my fellow farmers. We learn so much from one another and we always have a great time when we get together.
Have a great 4th and we’ll see you when we see you,
How to Use Your Herbs
Jamie Oliver has published a beautiful blog post on the best uses for all of the seasonal herbs that are available (see the U-Pick list). He does a nice job of breaking them down into woody herbs, like rosemary and thyme, and soft herbs, like basil, coriander and parsley. I have pulled a few highlights that they put together, based on what is in the U-Pick this week. Be sure to follow the link to check out more!
“Basil is good friends with tomato, mozzarella, garlic, aubergines, artichokes, balsamic vinegar, seafood and even strawberries.”
“It’s perfect in salads, and is particularly good with goat’s cheese. Try tossing it through pasta with garlic and juicy tomatoes. Although it’s a strong herb, marjoram is just mild enough to be eaten raw.”
“Chervil is similar to tarragon but its flavour isn’t quite as strong. It has very delicate leaves and is good in salads and lightly flavoured creamy soups.”
What’s For Lunch?
Our seasonally-inspired farm lunches are available everyday from 11 AM – 4:00 PM. Our lunches are inspired by what we are picking and what other local farmers and artisans are producing. Check out our menu, it changes four times during the growing season.