Book Your Wedding Now
1/20/12 During the crisp winter evenings we’ve had time to work on a website specifically for couples looking for a gorgeous, affordable outdoor wedding venue – because we can offer just that! (check the top menu bar for the “weddings” link). It all started because some of our employees wanted to get married at the farm. Well, of course they can, they are like family! But that got us wondering if others would also be interested. It turns out that this little corner of heaven is important to many others who would like to build their most cherished memories on this farm. We flattened and re-seeded the lawn, put in clean handicap accessible bathrooms, spruced up the air conditioned cabin for brides and bridesmaids to get ready in, expanded the parking lot and voila! We have had seven lovely, unique and thoroughly successful weddings up at the farm so far and welcome anyone who wants to share its special beauty on their special day.
Zach and Emerald went to the Monadnock Bridal Show today and met some excited brides-to-be as well as some impressive caterers, photographers, dress makers and DJs from around the region. We will add the best to the list on our wedding site of wedding vendors. It is always a pleasure to hear about brides’ plans and share in their excitement, then help them create unique and wonderful events!
8/27/12 While we opened a little early this year, we regret that we also have to close very early. Many years we have enough fruit to continue pick-your-own and wholesale until the first frost, be it September 10th or October 20th. However, the drought stressed the bushes this year and when the very heavy rains did grace us, the berries were overwhelmed, so they split and dropped. There is nothing harvestable left at this point, so we are moving on to focus on peaches, nectarines, plums and our early, sweet, crunchy apple crop at Hill Orchards in Westford Mass.
But what of the Elliots you ask? Elliots are a beautiful, quality blueberry that don’t start to ripen until mid-September. While these berries are still clinging to the bushes right now, they are not ripe. If they do pull through we will pick them and bring them to the Keene, Chelmsford and Acton markets with the apples. If not.. well.. I hope you filled your freezer already!
The Garden Center on Rt 12 in Troy will reopen on Wednesday August 29th and will be open through Halloween with other fruit from our farms, perennials, fruit bushes, jams, syrups, cider, chutneys, cheese and FRUIT PIES.
Looking to next year: Would you like us to offer scooped ice cream at the farm or the Garden Center? We would like to put a septic & small kitchen in one of these locations so we can scoop ice cream and offer fresh fruit toppings. The Garden Center is right in town and could be open longer throughout the year, but ice cream scoops would be a fun, refreshing treat for hot & weary berry pickers at the home farm. Tell us what you think on Facebook!
7/9/12 Wow! Its so wonderful to see the friends and customers we haven’t seen since the season ended early last year. Kids are taller (with bigger appetites!), families have joyous new additions, so much has happened in people’s lives since we last saw them. Yet, it is comforting to know some are also steadily and reassuringly the same people we look forward to seeing every year. To all of our lovely and loyal customers, thank you for choosing us. Thank you for making the trip up our long winding road to visit our family, take delight in the fruits we grow and make memories with each other. Thank you for coming back week after week, year after year. Whether it is something you do to nurture yourself physically, emotionally, or spiritually, or something you do to bring joy to those who rely on you to teach them the ways of the world, thank you for choosing to come here, to the farm we pour our blood, sweat and souls into…sometimes literally. While we may not have the time or presence of mind to say it while you are here, we deeply appreciate your support and the choice you make every time you come here to pick your own berries each summer. Thank you also for joining me in this emotional moment before I run back to work. See you in the field!
6/24/12 We open for raspberries July 3rd, which has only ever happened once in our history! We have a huge crop of blueberries that will start to be ready around July 9th, so empty out your freezer now because this year’s picking will be some of the easiest picking our customers have seen!
We have been working very hard to get ready while also doing farmers markets with strawberries, annuals and hanging baskets, and tending to the apple and peach crops that were lucky to survive the frost around blossom time. While strawberries are great and all, they aren’t nearly as much fun to pick as raspberries and blueberries and I’ve dug out my berry recipes in anticipation.
The thing our staff are most excited about, however, is the top-it-yourself ice cream bar we will have in the Blue Bean cafe – stay tuned for pictures and scrumptious descriptions!
3/23/12 Who needs winter and spring when it already feels like summer? We do! There is plenty of work to be done before the buds unfurl! We were going to wait until May to open the garden center this year, but it’s so mild we will be opening our doors in two weeks with pansies for your planters & flowers for your Easter table. It’s time to plant peas so you have something deliciously sweet, juicy and crunchy to snack on while you work in your garden. If you plant enough they may even make it into your kitchen! Check out our seed collection and help us plan your garden with you.
The winter treated the berry bushes well, with no frost damage to be seen. We are a little worried about the berry plants blossoming too early and being subjected to a frost later, but we are thinking positively while we finish up pruning the bushes and start planting strawberries. Our son Oliver is back working on the farm after rowing the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Challenge this winter. If you see him around you should ask him about it; he has stories of watching circling sharks & playful whales, eating dehydrated mashed potatoes and peanut butter for 2 months, and riding down 30 foot waves by moonlight.
We are considering selling CSA-type vouchers at a discount before the upcoming season. While we are not set up for the style of CSA where you pick up a basket of fruit each week, the structure of paying for a share of the crop before the season starts is so smart and helpful for farmers we want to take advantage of it. The advantage for you would be a discount on produce you are going to buy or pick anyway & knowledge that you are helping us with early funding for a surprisingly early season! We will release our final share structure in our spring online newsletter. If you haven’t yet signed up, find us on Facebook then “sign up for our newsletter” is in the left menu bar
9/5/11 Well, that’s it folks. The PYO berry season has officially drawn to a close. Yes, it is early for the crop to dwindle at the beginning of September. Although it was a scant year for blueberries & we took a hit from hurricane Irene, our peach and apple crops are phenomenal. Rather than comb empty bushes for the last berries we are spending every waking hour picking peaches. We will have produce and mums as the garden center re-opens on Wednesday the 7th, and will continue to be at Keene Farmers market on Sat & Tues, Acton on Sunday, Peterboro on Monday, Keene Hospital, Rindge and Chelmsford on Thursday and Westford Market on Friday. PYO Apples start this coming weekend at our orchard Hill Orchard in Westford, MA.
Thank you so much to all of our loyal customers. For picking and visiting us at market, for sending your friends and family members our way – Thank You from our whole family & all the families that work with us!
(If you give me a day or two to recover from blueberries I will even get our new website for Hill Orchard up and going, with luck this should work by Thursday: www.westfordhillorchard.com )
8/29/11 WE STILL HAVE POST-IRENE BLUEBERRIES! There is a field that was sheltered from the strong winds by the cliff, so 5 rows of Bluecrop and 2 rows of Elliot are ripe and ready to go. The catch is: BRING MUD BOOTS. This patch is always wet & rough so we don’t usually put the general public in there. However, we were very surprised at just how many berries were left in there, storm or no storm. Some look like they haven’t been picked yet. We still plan to be open until Labor day, as the Elliot on the hill will ripen over the next few weeks as well. ~Emerald
8/13/11 Blueberry, peach, plum & tomato discount canning fruit is abundant, as it is peak season for all of them. Our list of people who want 2nds fruit for baking and canning at a discount price are having their fill, but we will have more than they can take. If you would like to place an order please email Emerald at monadnockberries.com or call us at 603 242 6417. We have peaches, plums, blueberries (possibly a small amount of nectarines too). You can take from 5lbs to 100 lbs with fair warning. If you place an order you HAVE to pick them up at the time you agree upon because bruised fruit does not last. Make sure you have time to process it before you buy it. If you make me a peach & raspberry cobbler, well you can have some peaches for free! – Emerald
7/22/11 Hey, look at that, its 100 degrees out there! And people are still picking? That is what I call dedication. I hope they all have hats and plenty of water!
I am celebrating this sweltering day by sitting inside in the air conditioning dreaming up a PHOTO CONTEST. So find Monadnock Berries PYO and Garden Center on Facebook and submit photos for our 2011 “Show Us Your Berries” Photo contest. Submit the cutest, most romantic, beautiful or delicious photos for PYO berry gift certificates. The best photos will be judged by our fans – I can’t wait to see them!
Ok, I’m off to pop some frozen raspberries in my mouth… – Emerald.
7/15/11 We are officially & fully open for the Pick Your Own Berry season of 2011! Man what an early summer we had – to say it felt like we had returned to our British homeland might even be an understatement, but all that rain is exactly what raspberries love. The raspberry crop is fantastic, in fact, it might make up for the lack of late-season blueberries on the Elliots and Coville that were so badly stressed in the drought of 2010. While we are known primarily for blueberries, maybe this is the year to re-think that image? We also grow about 4 acres of raspberries along with red currants, blackcurrants and gooseberries – so lets concentrate on them this year. Please send us your best stories, photos and recipes regarding raspberries, currants and gooseberries, or share them with your friends!
Thank you for loving our farm as much as we do – we look forward to seeing each and every one of you this season!