Last Friday Gord and I decided to duck out early for the long weekend, we had heard rumour of a fantastic farm offering you pick blueberries. We thought, what better way to start our long weekend than with some fresh berries to last us the season.
Blueberry Hill Farm is located on South Grandview Flats in Armstrong, not far past O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon. Upon arrival Gord and I would have both turned back, assuming we were at the wrong location if it wasn’t for the You-Pick/We-Pick Blueberries sign at the end of the drive. At first glance, Blueberry Hill did not have any of the classic farm icons, no big red barn, no livestock roaming the yard. But after receiving our directions from the friendly farm owner and passing through a gate in the tall cedar fence, relics of a time gone by began to reveal themselves. We began our decent to the berry patch, past a forgotten chicken yard and an old weathered barn accented with ancient, sun bleached cattle skulls. From there we crested a little knoll which guarded the farm’s best kept secret, rows and rows of 40 year old blueberry bushes laden heavy with their powdery blue burden.
Gord and I began picking and the berries literally rained from their branches. We thought it best to set a ten pound limit on our harvest because it was very clear that we could easily get carried away. We duck walked our way down the row, raking our way along the drooping branches all the while exclaiming “can you believe this?” or “look at the berries on this branch”.
As we picked, our basket grew heavier and our teeth got mysteriously bluer? We finally decided to raise the white flag and surrender to the unyielding bushes, there was just no way we could pick them all! So, we made our way back up the berry laden isles, past the ramshackle old barn and through the tall cedar gate to face the scale and weigh our harvest.
We held our breath as the scale needle rose, we were shocked, bewildered and a little proud as the needle sat teetering at the 17 pound marker! So much for our ten pound limit. Our one hour harvesting session had yielded us enough blueberries to last us well into winter, a very fruitful afternoon, if I do say so myself 🙂
Here is a great recipe for Blueberry Quinoa Salad that our host made at the Cob Oven Building Workshop in Vernon last week.
|3 C||cooked quinoa|
|1 C||fresh blueberries|
|1/3 C||sliced green onions|
|1/4 C||chopped walnuts|
|1 can||kidney beans|
|2 Tbsp||tamari or soy sauce|
|4 Tbsp||fresh lime juice|
|2 Tsp||grated ginger|
|1/4 C||chopped mint|
|2 Tbsp||toasted sesame oil|
Combine cooled cooked quinoa, blueberries, green onions, walnuts and kidney beans(drained and rinsed) in a large salad bowl and mix. In a smaller bowl combine tamari/soy sauce, honey, lime juice, mint and sesame oil and stir until well mixed. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hrs.