Monday, August 15, 2011

weekend adventures: butler's orchard

berry picking at butlers orchard
One of the highlights of last summer was picking seven pounds of blueberries and spending the month of July baking up blueberry-filled desserts. I couldn't wait to do it again this year. Alas, we missed out on both strawberry season and blueberry season this summer. D'oh!

But luckily for me, August is raspberry and blackberry season. So my berry-picking boy (free manual labor!) and I headed back up to Butler's Orchard in Germantown and spent Sunday afternoon in the berry fields.

In addition to all the delicious fruits and veggies, and the farm market, Butler's Orchard is just a beautiful place to visit.

Lonely tree:
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard
First up - raspberries. The raspberries were plentiful and easy to pick. Unfortunately, I learned that raspberries are loved by bees and STINKBUGS. I freaking hate stinkbugs and they were EVERYWHERE. Ewwwww! And they were always on the reddest and ripest berries. They didn't seem to be eating the berries, just hanging out and grossing me out. In fact, often there were two stinkbugs per berry. Maybe they were...uh...mating...on the berries. Stinkbug sex! So gross.
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard
So anyway, Larry was once again able to pick about ten times more berries than I did because I had to visually inspect all sides of the berry for stinkbugs before putting my fingers on it. Larry's approach to the stinkbugs was "just flick them off and steal their berry!" Good thing I brought a boy along. He even proclaimed himself a "raspberry-pickin' fool!"

Raspberry-pickin' fool in action:
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard

A common photo this summer:
berry picking at butlers orchard
Next up were blackberries. Luckily, bees and stinkbugs don't seem to care for blackberries. But they were really hard to pick. A lot of the berries weren't ripe yet, and the ones that were ripe were still impossible to pull off the vine. And you also end up covered in juice. We only picked a few of these before we called it quits.
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard
berry picking at butlers orchard

Our bounty:
our bounty
Once home, I whipped up a raspberry clafoutis:
raspberry clafoutis
And I still have over three pounds of raspberries, some blackberries, and some peaches waiting to be transformed into delicious desserts.

(Fortunately, we seem to have made it home without any stowaway stinkbugs - mating or otherwise - in our bucket. However, I still have the heebeejeebees and the creepy-crawlies! Yuck yuck yuck.)

6 comments:

Sarah Rosemary said...

I am coming over for that dessert! I looks great. Oh, I loathe stink bugs, too. They are insidious! One day I pulled our drapes out to close them, and bunches were stuck on the folds inside. Gross! I vacuumed those suckers up.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Yeah, the past two years the stinkbugs were really awful at our house, but this year I hadn't really seen many...until yesterday.

I just read that stinkbugs can ruin a raspberry crop because they ruin the taste of the berries. Now I'm totally grossed out. My berries seem to taste fine though, and you can bet I washed them thoroughly before cooking with them.

Karen Travels said...

I don't think I know what a stinkbug is (I know, I know - I guess I am lucky to not know!).

I love the lone tree pic! I love all the pics! Looks like a great time!!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Karen - here's what you're missing out on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_marmorated_stink_bug

If they haven't reached you yet, that's a good thing. Stinkbugs are an invasive species from Asia - they've only been in the U.S. about ten years and in the past three or so years they've taken over the DC area. Yuck!

lightlyspoken said...

I like seeing all the sunshine in your photos :) Looking forward to berry season in the Southern Hemisphere! I made dessert pizza tonight with, sigh, VERY frozen blueberries.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Lightlyspoken - I hope there are no stinkbugs on your berries Down Under!