Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Place to PYO Blueberries in Western MA

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Share your favorite place to PYO blueberries with your kids in Western MA! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Blueberries are out early this year! Where’s your favorite place to PYO with the kids?

  • Laura LeClair writes,Birdhaven Blueberry Farm in Southampton!”
  • Jessica Campagna Wehry writes, “Where is close to Pittsfield for PYO organic blueberries? I’ve been dying to bring my son!”
  • Sue Lowery writes, “Blueberry Hill on Washington Mountain Rd in Washington, MA (just outside Pittsfield) is amazing and wonderful. Roy and Marilyn Wiley are the owners, and are delightful folks.”
  • Amanda Gadd writes,Whitney Farms (Chester) off of Route 8 is lovely. They have a free petting zoo complete with a peacock.”
  • Jen Hartley writes, “Running Fox Farm is in Worthington.”
  • Sara Barry writes, “I love Running Fox Farm.”
  • Kathy McDonnell Elsea writes, “Maddie and I picked at Birdhaven Blueberry Farm in Southampton and I’m secretly planning to go back tomorrow. Only got 8 lbs!”
  • Megan McD Kenburn writes,Kenburn Orchards Bed & Breakfast on Rt 2 in Shelburne is great! $2.89/lbs or less if you pick more than 10 lbs. It’s not far from the Greenfield Rotary if you are driving towards Shelburne Falls. Great berries, nice people.”
  • Susan Loring-Wells writes, “Just picked blueberries with my daughter this afternoon on River Road just South of Route 116 and Sugarloaf Mtn. Not sure whether it’s located in Sunderland or Whately. It’s about 1/2 mile – mile down on the right from Rte 116. I’m sorry I don’t know the name of the place. The berries were delicious and abundant.”
  • Hilda Bailey ‎writes, “@Susan, Nourse Farms (Whately, MA)”
  • Kim Nestor-Carlino writes,Quonquont Farm in Whately has an unbelievable crop this year! Got one full quart off of one bush. Delicious and low spray.”
  • Vickie Riggs Selleck writes,Kenburn Orchards Bed & Breakfast in Shelburne.”
  • Dawn Klein writes,Whitney Farms in Cheshire, MA. Great nursery and deli too! With a huge playground area and petting zoo!”
  • Karen Lucas writes, “Dickinson Farm in Granby, MA. Love it there and tons of yummy big blueberries!”
  • Sienna Wildfield ‎writes, “Summit Farm in Plainfield has PYO organic berries and Benson Place in Heath has low bush blueberries. “
  • Philip Korman, Executive Director of CISA writes, “Contact info and location for all PYO found at the CISA website — you can also change the zip code at the end of the URL for your location!

Pick-Your-Own Spots in Western Massachusetts

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 15, Pick-Your-Own Spots

Berry picking with the family. (Photo credit: Sarah Buttenwieser)

I wrote a little post for Momfilter, (fun site—I especially adore the pretty pictures!) about the joys of pick-your-own. For people who live in a city, I realize that the chance to go berry or apple picking—or even pluck a few cherry tomatoes from an outdoor plant, potted or in a garden plot—requires some planning (vacation activity, anyone?). And so writing that post made me think about another Mash Notable reality of life in this corner of New England: there are ample pick-you-own opportunities.

What’s more, from the pumpkin patch or apple orchard field trip that’s a staple in our preschools and early elementary years to the family outings for fill-in-the-blank favorite harvest-able, it turns out that the experience of picking food from where it grows is usual around here. This is a good thing for those of us hoping our kids understand the farm-to-table connection or at least the food doesn’t grow on supermarket shelves. This is a promising thing for the farmers’ markets, which span from Springfield to the Berkshires and pretty much all points in between. Appreciation for the most local food is, I think we can all agree, a sign of progress, even if it hits your ear as retro (my neighbors with the veggie garden in front of their house, I always equate with some read-about and heard-about tale of victory gardens).

❥ And this is a good moment to share this tip: you can find out about picking and farmers’ marketing and CSA sharing through CISA’s site. If you’re Berkshire bound, you can learn more through Berkshire Grown.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA?

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield, MA offer PYO apples. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Does anyone have suggestions for favorite apple orchards in the area?

  • Maureen Cooper MacPhail responds: Echo Hill in Monson, MA
  • Rebekah Markham responds: Quonquont Farm in Whately, MA
  • Lauren Abend responds: Bear Swamp Orchard in Ashfield, MA. Pick-Your-Own Organic; as well as, unpasteurized cider.
  • Lisa Fedora Lansing responds: Outlook Farms in Westhampton MA & Atkins Farm in Amherst, MA.
  • Jenna Smith responds: Lakeview Orchard in Lanesboro, MA, and they have awesome fresh apple cider donuts!
  • Jennifer York responds: Sentinel Farm in Belchertown, MA on Cottage St.
  • Christine Hebert responds: Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown, MA

Q&A: Raspberries

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Raspberries can be found along the many bike paths in Western MA, or you can PYO at local farms in Plainfield and Cheshire recommended here. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Where’s your favorite place to pick raspberries with the family in Western MA?

  • Nancy Cavillones responds: Ooh, I am going to follow this thread! We are new to the area and don’t know the picking spots yet!
  • Liz Castro responds: There’s a great place in Plainfield but I can’t remember the name …
  • Shannon Toye responds: Lakeview Orchard, Cheshire, MA. Delicious cherries too!
  • Sienna Wildfield responds: Cherries?! Thanks for the lead, Shannon! – Ed Stockman from Summit Farm (131 Summit Street) in Plainfield (organic raspberries) mentioned that he will have PYO starting June 26th!
  • Josh Pelland responds: Even the Noho and Amherst rail trail is full of ’em. Get them before the birds do!
  • Kristin Schlereth responds: Along the rail trail in Easthampton!
  • Jennifer Pierce responds: www.pickyourown.org/mass – The bike path in Turners Falls by Unity Park.
  • Chris Sanborn responds: My backyard on Hillside Road.
  • Heather Richardson responds: Blueberries are ready too according to Dickinson Farms in Granby! Thanks for posting raspberries I wanted to do those too!
  • Aime DeGrenier responds: “Mountain Pasture Farm – No pesticides are used, blueberries, raspberries (Autumn, red)… 818 Surriner Road, Becket, MA. Phone: 413-658-8431. Alternate Phone: 413-623-6455. Email: ellsworthrs@verizon.net. Open: 10 am to 5 pm Saturday through Thursday, closed on Friday Do not use pesticides. Cash, only.”

Add you recommendation too in the comment field below!

Sweeten Up Your Summer With Local Fruit

Sweeten Up Your Summer
By CISA

Fresh Picked Blackberries at the Amherst Farmers Market - (c) Sienna Wildfield

Fresh Picked Blackberries at the Amherst Farmers' Market - (c) Sienna Wildfield

At the height of summer, nothing is more refreshing than biting into a piece of fresh, juicy fruit. If you’ve never tried farm-fresh fruits, you owe it to yourself to go find some. Nothing compares to the taste and texture of fully ripened locally grown fruits- particularly not under-ripe fruit shipped from far off places. Thankfully, here in the Valley, there are lots of ways to fill your fruit bowl with local fruit:

As local berries and fruits ripen, finding new ways to use the abundance can be exciting. Pies, cobblers, and tarts are delicious ideas, but fresh fruit shouldn’t be limited to desserts- add them to salads, breakfasts, or get creative with savory dishes. Want to enjoy these treats year-round? Read up on preserving your fruit for the rest of the year by freezing, drying, and jam making.

You may not always notice it at the grocery store, but summer fruits have their own micro-seasons of availability, so you’ve got to scoop them up when you get the chance. Keep in mind that harvest times vary from year to year, so it is always a good idea to call ahead to be sure that the products you want are available. For a list of local fruit producers, visit our online Farm Products Guide.

And if you find that you’re competing with the fruit flies for all that local fruit on your counter, try this: squirt some dish soap into a mug, add a glug of vinegar (locally available from Apex Orchards in Shelburne), and fill with water. Flies are attracted to the vinegar, but get caught in the soapsuds, especially if you’ve eaten, or covered, any fruit in your kitchen.

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