Sunday, July 31, 2011

There's Something About Berry!

Yesterday I made my first-of-the-season trek to the Boone's Ferry Berry Farm on Boone's Ferry Road. (Yes, that Boone's Ferry!) While it's just a few miles out of town, I feel as if I am entering another world. On the small two-lane road, I pass sheep, a commercial nursery that grows bushes-topiaries and manicures them into all kinds of shapes (yes, people do seem to like bushes that look like deer, bears, and fish),a variety of tree farms, filbert (aka hazelnut) orchards in full bloom, sod farms that are the most heavenly shade of emerald and look magical when the large sprinklers are rolled out and the sun glistens through the droplets of water 20 feet above the green and, of course, berries. Berries of all types -- this is after all, the "Berry Capital of the World." If there is a berry to be found, I am sure you'll find it here. While I love them all -- blueberries are my favorite. If you haven't had the great fortune to taste a blueberry fresh picked some the field, I feel really bad about that. You see, picked at their peak, and eaten when they are still a bit warm (I never put mine in the refrigerator unless they will go into jam) I'm telling you, they are better than the best bon bon you can imagine. And, what's better than that? No calories...well, some calories but not enough to worry about. Okay, so there is a downside -- little teensy tiny black seeds that get stuck in your teeth. So, just a word of warning...when you eat them, there's a good chance you might look like Huck Finn if you smile.

If you've been following for a bit, you might remember my post about the quaint little berry shack from last year. Yesterday, my heart dropped as I came to the big barn that is my landmark to turn into the farm, and the spot that normally houses the old shack was empty. I was so old friend was gone. Luckily, I noticed the hand painted sign posted on the side of the commercial entrance -- the retail "store" had been moved just a bit up the road. Making a quick recovery, I found the gravel entry that leads into the fields and there it was -- my little berry shack all grown up. Very cute little iron tables and chairs out front and when I walked in, it was a nice little surprise. It seems that the young families that own the berry farms are quite entrepreneurial -- inside there were all kinds of "Boone"s Ferry Berry Farm" branded specialities. Berries, dried and fresh, filberts from the tree and in butters, and pickled garlic. So it was an unexpected little shopping adventure. I couldn't stay long since Bea was in the car and it was quite warm, so I picked up my flat of blueberries along with a pint of Marionberries and called it a day. Of course, I will be back next Friday, to replenish my supply. I drove away with mixed emotions. While I am all for progress...I have to say, I missed stepping back in time I felt with the old berry shack; but really happy to see that the young women who are running the new store are visualizing something more than a seasonal shack and I wish them nothing but success with it all.