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A berry delicious season

Blueberries-hunter-valley-misty-valley-farm. Little eco footprints

Some things are worth waiting for – and blueberries are one of them. I recently enjoyed my first blueberry for the season. That first delicious blueberry was made all the sweeter by ten months of going without.

Sure, I could buy imported frozen blueberries from the supermarket all year round, but those blueberries come with an environmental cost of increased fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions. They are also a whole lot more expensive than fresh seasonal blueberries.

Picking-Bluberries-at-Misty-Valley-Farm-in-the-lower-Hunter-Valley-4. Little eco footprints

For me, the benefits of seasonal eating extend far beyond reduced food miles and saving money. If blueberries weren’t such an anticipated treat, I’d miss the excitement of discovering that blueberry season has begun. It means an eagerly awaited trip to pick buckets of blueberries.

Picking-Bluberries-at-Misty-Valley-Farm-in-the-lower-Hunter-Valley-2. Little eco footprints

We recently visited Misty Valley Farm in the lower Hunter Valley where you can pick your own blueberries. Last year we picked three kilograms and stashed them in the freezer. I naively thought that they would last a couple of months – but they barely lasted a couple of weeks given my family’s appetite for blueberries.

Picking-Bluberries-at-Misty-Valley-Farm-in-the-lower-Hunter-Valley. Little eco footprints

This year, I will make sure we go blueberry picking more than once during the season (predicted to last until late January/early February) to well and truly take advantage of this very delicious time.

Delicious local fresh bluberries. Tricia Hogbin

Frozen blueberries nibbled on their own are one of my favourite summer snacks. We’ve also been making a quick and easy blueberry banana ice-cream by blending frozen bananas and blueberries in a food processor. I also love that blueberries magically turn plain yoghurt or porridge into something far more delicious.

Picking-Bluberries-at-Misty-Valley-Farm-in-the-lower-Hunter-Valley-3. Little eco footprints

For more information on picking your own blueberries at Misty Valley Farm visit their new website.

Originally published in my Newcastle Herald column 'Less is More' 21st December 2013.

Wishing you all a relaxing and meaningful festive season.