Blueberry Season Begins at Winney’s Farm

w1We took a drive out to Winney’s Farm and ran into Byron Winney, whose family has been cultivating these 40 acres in Schuylerville, NY since the 1700s.

There are rows upon rows of blueberry bushes  that will be producing for weeks to come, usually until late August. But the biggest treat of the farm is definitely talking to Byron.

Friendly and outgoing, he will share his favorite varieties (Brigitta, Arlen and Aurora), talk about his challenges of growing berries, and share a history lesson about the Dutch families that settled here so long ago.

Birders will enjoy seeing the orioles, which were fluttering about this afternoon. It’s a good year for them, Byron said.

You can pick your own here or buy pre-picked berries. Whichever you choose make sure to walk about, it’s a lovely spot.

In addition to the blueberries, I spotted milkweed. If you see this plant take a whiff of the flower. It is one of my favorite fragrances.

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Berries for another visit.

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Quince: A Cherished Sign of Spring

Quince

It’s not surprising to find quince in gardens around older homes. There was a time when every household grew quince as the fruits are high in pectin and used to make preserves, jam and jellies.

Quince were also used in  recipes that called for apples or pears. And when cooked, quince turn a rosy color pink to ruby red.

The house I live in dates to the 1880s and has a magnificent quince in the garden. For me, it is the beauty of the blooms that make me cherish this shrub. The bloom color is a salmon pink and it is prolific and fragrant.

It is in its glory right now. A welcomed sign of Spring.

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Community Orchards

I’m working on an article about community orchards. These are fruit or nut tree orchards grown as a community endeavor with participants sharing in the work and harvest, donating part of the harvest to others or selling produce locally. Often these orchards are part of a community garden, but not always.

The article will be published on the American Community Gardening Association website. I’m hoping to share what it takes to create and manage an orchard and include your personal experiences. As we know, there is a lot we can learn from one another.

Thank you, Natalie