By Amy Hoffman
Who can resist fresh veggies? The Upper Valley has the most
amazing opportunities to gather fresh fruit, veggies, flowers, and Christmas
trees. Pooh Sprague of Edgewater Farm says this area can be called the “banana
belt” because the Connecticut River keeps the Upper Valley clime warm and
favorable for growing. All of the farms mentioned below have websites with the
information you need to find them; and I know there are more farms that I have
not mentioned in this article.
June – To pick
strawberries you may travel to New London and Spring Ledge Farm or to Plainfield
to Edgewater Farm, and see some of New Hampshire’s best views along the way.
July – Blueberry-picking
season begins. Bartlett’s Blueberry Farm
in Newport happens to be my favorite. Not only can you pick yummy blueberries,
but the views are awesome too. Noda Blueberry Farm in Meriden and Riverview
Farm in Plainfield also have late-season blueberries. For those who don’t wish
to travel, Grantham has two spots: King Blossom Farm on Dunbar Hill Road and
the Grantham Recreation Field, where it’s on-your-honor picking.
It is raspberry-picking season too. King Blossom Farm in
Grantham, Poverty Lane in Lebanon, and Beaver Pond Farm in Newport have lots of
raspberries to pick in July. Late season raspberries can be picked at Riverview
Farm in Plainfield. At Riverview, we always pick raspberries and apples, and
choose a pumpkin on the same day. You might be lucky and get a ride in a
horse-drawn wagon up to the apples. Such fun!
Flowers can be picked by the bunch at Spring Ledge Farm in
New London from July through frost.
Late summer into fall
– Pumpkins and apples may be picked in many places, but my very favorite
place is Riverview Farm. It is so family-friendly. Poverty Lane also has apples to pick and the
views from the orchards are hard to forget. Locally in Grantham, King Blossom
Farm has many apple varieties and, did I say, it is local!
Late November into
December – You may cut your own Christmas trees at Noda Farm in Meriden, which advertises “Christmas trees
with character,” or Nichols Christmas Trees in Lyme. There are many
more Christmas tree farms – too many to list.
We are so fortunate to live where we are able to take
advantage of each picking season.
There is another
option where you don’t have to pick your own but still get the best the season
has to offer. It’s called a CSA –
community supported agriculture – and most folks choose to pay for the option
before the season starts. It helps growers to plan for the upcoming season as
well as offset the cost of seed orders. There are all kinds of CSA options.
Farm delivers CSA boxes to our South Cove Activity Center every Wednesday for
16 weeks beginning June 19. Each box is stuffed with the latest and best. The
farm also offers a CSA debit account that allows you to go to the Plainfield farm
stand and choose what you want from a variety of fresh veggies, as well as milk
products from McNamara Dairy. (You have to try the dairy’s chocolate milk. Yummy!)
Farm in New London also offers a CSA option called “farm shares” in amounts of
$100; it works like a debit card. Go to the farm stand starting in March and
choose what you’d like. Also in March, Spring Ledge lettuce is truly yummy and
not to be missed.
CSA or PYO. Maybe your kids will no longer think that eggs and carrots only come
from a grocery store.
Amy Hoffman is a frustrated farmer who likes
to take advantage of local farming efforts.