Berry Delicious Pickings
Sunday, 27 January 2013
It’s blueberry season here in the Hunter Valley, time to enjoy these berries fresh.
Misty Valley Farm in the lower Hunter lets you pick your own organic blueberries for a fraction of what you would pay at the shops.
My daughter and I picked three kilograms of delicious blueberries.
Or to be more precise, I picked and she sneaked, with her hand making its way to her mouth more often than the bucket.
We devoured handfuls on the drive home and the remainder were destined for the freezer.
Blueberries are easy to freeze.
I simply toss the berries into a container and put them in the freezer. If they are not organic I wash them in water and spread them out on a tea towel to dry.
We’ll enjoy the berries over the next few months in our porridge, on yoghurt, in smoothies, and as a simple frozen treat. Frozen blueberries are one of my favourite summer snacks.
Some families return to Misty Valley Farm every year to pick 20 kilograms of Blueberries to create a freezer stash that will last the year.
These local home frozen berries are far superior to the bags of frozen berries you’ll find in the supermarket.
Most, if not all of the berries you’ll find in the supermarket are imported from China and Chile.
Not only do these berries come with high food miles, they may also carry high levels of mould, fungicides and other chemicals.
Misty Valley Farm is open to the public during blueberry season - from around December until early February.
More information on visiting the farm can be found on the Misty Valley Farm website.
Are you a fan of pick-your-own farms? Do you know of any other pick-your-own farms in the Hunter region or elsewhere? I know of Hillsdale Orchard - but would love to know of others.
[Originally published in my column LESS IS MORE in the The Newcastle Herald Weekender Magazine 26 January 2013]