Certified Organic Low-Bush Blueberries

2020 Prices:

Pick-your-own $2.75/lb

Sign up for weekday and weekend PYO appointments on the reserve berries page- the picking is great so come on out!

20 pound boxes- $72 ($76 for pickup locations)

10 pound boxes- $39 ($42 for pickup locations)

5 pound boxes- $22 ($24 for pickup locations)

2020 Pickup Locations:

Tuesday, July 28th- Northampton, and Conway, Natural Roots- FULL

Wednesday, July 29th- Greenfield- FULL

Thursday, July 30th- Amherst, Simple Gifts- FULL

Friday, July 31st- Conway, Natural Roots- FULL

Tuesday, August 4th- Greenfield- FULL

Wednesday, August 5th- Brookfield Farm, Amherst- FULL

Thursday, August 6th- Northampton- FULL


The Benson Place

Our U-pick appointment are full! If you already have a reservation, we will see you Saturday, Sunday, or Monday!

July 5th update: Due to an unprecedented volume of pre-orders received over the past few days, our prepicked orders are full. However, we do schedule orders conservatively and we anticipate being able to to fill a large number of the orders off of our waitlists. Waitlists are below:

Farm Pickup (4-6 pm)

Natural Roots, Conway (4:30-5:30 pm)

Beacon Field, Greenfield (5-6 pm)

Simple Gifts Farm, Amherst (5-6 pm)

Brookfield Farm, Amherst (4:30-6 pm)

Veterans Field, Northampton (5-6 pm)

 

Dear friends of the Benson Place,

We are so excited for the harvest season which will begin in late July and continue through the first part of August. The bloom and fruit set were both good, and with the recent rainfall, we are hopeful that this year's crop will be abundant. You can sign up for pre-picked berries or schedule a upick appointment on the reserve berries page of the website beginning July 3rd.

This year, due to COVID-19, there will a few changes in order to ensure the safety of our customers and staff. First, all u-pick will be scheduled, including the weekends. Also, we ask all u-pickers to come in groups of at least four people old enough to sort. If there are young children in your group, you will need to bring at least one extra adult to supervise the children. We are sad to say that we will not be allowing u-pickers to assist other groups of u-pickers as we have in the past. Hopefully this wonderful tradition will resume next year. In order to minimize staff exposure, parties will receive limited help from our staff running the belts, most often just one person will be pouring. Masks will be required in the blueberry barn, but not in the field where parties will be spread out. Be prepared to follow other required protocols such as hand washing prior to using the sorting belts and social distancing while eating lunch or waiting to use a sorting machine. During the weekdays, the u-pick belt will be operated outside under a shade cloth.

This year, we'd like to write a bit about the difference between organic low-bush (aka "wild") blueberries, and "wild" blueberries from the store. The term "wild" can be misleading-- many people picture the berries as gathered in the wild in a more-or-less pristine environment, and therefore, being relatively free of chemicals. Most low-bush blueberries are wild in the sense that nobody planted them, they are found regionally in blueberry barren ecosystems largely in Maine, south-east Canada, and small pockets scattered throughout New England. But they are not wild in the sense that they do need to be heavily managed in order to continue to produce commercial size crops. This involves pruning the blueberries through fire or mowing, and, on conventional low-bush blueberry farms, which account for the production of the vast majority of wild blueberries in the stores, regular applications of herbicide to control other plants as well as pesticides and fungicides for insects and diseases such as mummy berry. Our 34 acres of certified organic "wild" blueberries are managed with many hundreds of hours of hand-weeding each year, nutrient-dense foliar sprays and ammendments which increase plant immunity to disease and insects, and minimal use of certified organic pesticides when needed (this year, we sprayed less than 1% of our acreage with one application of an OMRI approved pesticide). We're excited about this organic approach to farming which seeks to maximize the genetic potential of the blueberry and create plant immunity through enhanced crop nutrition. And we think you can taste the difference!

Lastly, we wanted to let everyone know that our new "wild" blueberry- lavender syrup will be available for sale during the season, both at the farm as well as at the pickup locations. Each bottle is loaded with simmered down blueberries, sweetened with local maple syrup from Sunrise Farm, and infused with lavender flowers. It is great on pancakes and ice cream, in yogurt, smoothies or salad dressings, or even as a marinade for meat!

Thanks so much for your ongoing support and we look forward to seeing you this summer! Meredith and Andrew