Subscriber login

Local News
What you need to know for 04/25/2017

At area blueberry farms, every pick is a winner

recommend

At area blueberry farms, every pick is a winner

When Saratoga Springs is buzzing with crowds and traffic, I escape to the land of blueberries.
At area blueberry farms, every pick is a winner
Pints of blueberries at Bowman's Orchards in Rexford.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

When Saratoga Springs is buzzing with crowds and traffic, I escape to the land of blueberries.

Winney’s Farm in Schuylerville is my peaceful paradise, a quiet place where I can rest my mind while plucking juicy nuggets to mix into yogurt or bake in muffins and pie. In this field of fruit, butterflies flit over purple asters and Queen Anne’s Lace and in the distance mountains and barns are silhouetted against the sky.

“It’s a very good crop,” says Byron J. Winney, the guy who runs Saratoga County’s largest blueberry farm. “The winter caused some disease problems, but we’ve been pruning that out.”

More than 30 of the farm’s 80 acres are covered with blueberry bushes, and there are 24 varieties with names like Duke, Sierra, Brigitta, Blue Jay and Liberty. Each variety has a different flavor and sugar content and reaches maturity at a different time.

“They are like wine grapes, and we treat them like wine grapes,” Winney says.

And as with wine grapes, taste is affected by rainfall and soil.

Blueberry plants, which produce for 75 years, are pruned regularly and the pH of the soil must be tested.

Picking is easy for all ages, as the waist-high bushes yield their fruit without much bending or stretching of the body. One simply pulls the little gems off a small, leafy branch and drops them into a plastic bucket.

At Winney’s, pickers can bring a lunch and sit in the field at a picnic table, spread a blanket in the grass or lounge under a big maple tree at the edge of the field. Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and water bottles are recommended while picking in the sunny fields.

At Winney’s, this year’s picking started July 4 and will end around mid-August, Winney says.

Looking for a place to pick blueberries? Here’s a list of more than a dozen in our area:

SARATOGA COUNTY

• Winney’s Farm, Schuylerville. 695-5547, Facebook

• Bowman’s Orchards, Rexford. 371-2042, www.bowmanorchards.com

• Blueberry Hill Solar Organic, Galway. 859-6925, Facebook

• Eagle’s View Farm, Galway. 882-9199, www.eaglesviewfarm.weebly.com

FULTON COUNTY

• Blueberry Hill, Oppenheim. 203-223-1796, blueberryhill2600@gmail.com

• Meadowlark Farms, Broadalbin. 883-6542, Facebook

SCHOHARIE COUNTY

• Bohringer’s Fruit Farm, Middleburgh. 827-5783, Facebook

WASHINGTON COUNTY

• Hand Melon Farm, Greenwich. 692-2376, www.handmelonfarm.com, Facebook

• Beloved Farm, Cambridge. 677-8226, www.ourbelovedfarm.com

• Hicks Orchard, Granville. 642-1788, www.hicksorchard.com, Facebook

• Stu-Berry Acres, Argyle. 638-8926

RENSSELAER COUNTY

• Hay Berry Farm, Hoosick Falls. 285-9039, www.hayberryfarm.org

• Liberty Ridge, Schaghticoke. 664-1515, www.libertyridgefarmny.com, Facebook

ALBANY COUNTY

• Indian Ladder Farms, Altamont. 765-2956, www.indianladderfarms.com

Have a favorite summer activity? Let us know about it. Share your ideas for Summer Days at www.dailygazette.com/summerdays or features@dailygazette.net.

View Comments
Hide Comments
You have 0 articles 1 articles 2 articles 3 articles 4 articles 5 articles 6 articles 7 articles remaining of Daily Gazette free premium content.

You have reached your monthly premium content limit.

Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber.
Already a subscriber? Log In