Last saturday morning, Theresa and I headed out to a new Pick Your Own farm, Olde Nourse Farm, that had PYO raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries and currants. We were pretty excited. Not only is does the farm use IPM, but they had PYO gooseberries and currants, and it’s also a really cool family farm.
We needed our fill of seasonal raspberries for jamming. So we arrived and checked out the farmshop- it had an array of veggies grown on the farm and then lots and lots of jam and preserves. We took big buckets and headed out to the raspberry patch, which was beautiful and scenic in it own right.
The red raspberry variety that they grow at Olde Nourse Farm is very mild and sweet, great for some jamming, and overall munching.
We picked raspberries for most of the late morning, and managed to get together about 13 pounds of red raspberries in the end!
We weighed and paid for our raspberry loot and asked about gooseberries and currants. They said it was the end of the season, which bummed us out, but they recommended we still check. We wandered to the gooseberry and currant row and peered at really cool short stocky bushes.
There were not a lot, but a reasonable amount of gooseberries. We picked perhaps the last of the season’s worth from the scraggly scratchy bushes and then headed to check the currants. There were an abundance of late season red currants hanging off of their bushes. We dedicated our efforts to getting lots of currants instead of blueberries, seeing as this was perhaps the last opportunity for currants this season, and picked up until rainclouds started to get very close by. We managed to get a very decent haul of gooseberries and currants, about 10 pounds worth!
We excitedly weighed and paid for our berries, and talked to John Nourse about his farming practices and CSA, which seem really cool. Nourse is an IPM farm, and tries to use holistic pest management and was happy to say that this year they did not have to do any type of spraying on their crops. Then we stuck our berries in the car and drove off as rain came into the city. Overall, a very successful PYO experience. We really liked the farm, and appreciated the neat variety of berries. We arrived home, surveyed our loot and our damage (raspberry and gooseberry picking is rather prickly…)
I’ll post later about our preserving and jamming endeavors.