If you grew up in Vermont, chances are you have picked your own berries, maybe even wild ones.
A resource for pick your own sites in Vermont, sorted by county, is pickyourown.org.
This is one of the joys of summertime. Here are some tips to get the most fruit without harming the bush or yourself.
The discovery of wild berries on your properties is a pleasure on its own, but if you need a neighborhood farm to pick your own, in Colchester visit:
Paul Mazza’s Fruits and Vegetables, 135 Poor Farm Road, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
Please check out Paul Mazza’s chart for the in season items.
Sam Mazza’s Farm Market, Bakery and Greenhouse, 277 Lavigne Road, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
Dean Brigante’s Farmstand, 971 Malletts Bay Avenue, strawberries
The Zen Master’s (this examiner’s father) number one tip for berry picking is:
Loop your belt through the handle of a small collection pail, to leave both hands free to do the picking.
Blackberries can take over the backyard with a few years if allowed to do so. If you have the space available it’s well worth it.
In the month of August well over a quart of berries could be picked each week.
Choose to pick during early morning or late evening hours. Wear a flannel shirt and jeans are the best choice, weather permitting.
Blackberries create quite a tight knit bramble. Picking along the edges might yield a pint of berries.
Once you look under the surface leaves, there is a whole other world of cluster upon cluster of blackberries.
Using the two hands free method, hold the stalks away from your body with one hand and pick the berries with the other.
The recipe for Blackberry basil hand pies was inspired by Judiaann Woo, who grilled hand pies on the Bobby Flay’s show “Grill It!”
Since this examiner does not own a grill, a pie recipe from TableFare was found that incorporated wild blackberries and the basil from my Paul Mazza’s CSA.
Keeping with the hand pie plan, this examiner divided the pie dough into four sections.
The blackberry basil filling was covered with the elements of the pie top layer, substituting oatmeal and pumpkin pie spice for the sliced almonds and candied ginger.
A recipe this fantastical makes any amount of toil worth it.
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