It’s slightly awkward when you show up to the farm to go blueberry picking, only to find out that there is, in fact, no blueberry picking. However, my disappointment was short-lived, as we immediately learned that, instead, it was prime raspberry picking time.
Though I admit I was temporarily upset about no longer being able to make the 1209729 blueberry recipes I’d researched throughout the previous two days, I got over it as soon as I walked up to the rows and rows of raspberry bushes, filled with berries waiting to be plucked and put into our little baskets ($5 each).
As our ultimate destination for the day was Rockport, MA, I specifically looked up farms that were on the way and came across Brooksby Farm in Peabody, which was only a five minute drive off the highway and worked out beautifully. We were pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of animals on the premises (and a ton of adorable children trying to feed them), including some chickens, roosters, pigs, sheep, etc. Really just enhanced the whole farm thing. In addition, the farm has a store that sells some of their own produce, as well as baked goods, canned jams, soaps, etc. from local companies. It was adorable and I wanted to buy everything (particularly the monkey bread…but I resisted knowing there were many other delicious things to be had in Rockport a few hours later).
The premises was gorgeous. And it helped that it was a beautiful day. My friend Sophia and I spent about 45 minutes walking up and down the rows and rows of red and yellow raspberry bushes amidst children and their parents (there is something so charming about little kids being so excited about picking their own food). Truth be told, the yellow raspberries actually tasted much better than the red ones (less tart, more sweet–but mildly sweet like a white peach); we knew this because we were obviously eating our way through the rows as we slowly added to our little baskets (you have to taste test, of course).
Overall, it was a pretty similar experience to apple picking last fall, but on a much smaller scale. It was more fun to eat your way through the raspberries, though, because they are so small. Sampling apple after apple gets to be filling (or wasteful if you don’t actually eat all of it). Raspberry picking is a bit more challenging though, in my opinion, because they are so fragile; you have to very delicately grasp each one, with enough strength to remove it from its stem, but not so much force as to crush it with just your thumb and pointer finger. It requires more attention and care.
In any case, I decided not to bake with my raspberries–they were simply too good to alter in any way. I am using the past tense because, obviously, they are all already gone.