Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Closed Wednesday

Still need some ripening time. We'll evaluate the field tomorrow and let you know if
we will be open Thursday evening or not. Lots of berries are ripening.........
Thanks for your patience!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Closed Monday and Tuesday

The farm is closed today and Tuesday evening. We probably won't open until later in the week. Stay tuned for updates.
There are a lot of berries that still need to ripen so the season isn't over yet...........

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blueberry Cobbler

This is really good with homemade ice-cream or fresh cream!

6 cups frozen blueberries
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish.
Mix the blueberries with 1/3 cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the flour. Spoon into the baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and 3 tablespoons of sugar with the baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender.
Add the milk and vanilla and stir with a fork to form a wet, sticky dough. Drop rounded teaspoons of the dough over the top of the blueberries to cover them.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of the cobbler.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and bubbling.
Let the cobbler cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Closed Saturday

The berries need time to ripen so the farm will be closed not only today but for the next few days.
We'll let you know as soon as we open again.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chocolate Covered Blueberries

This recipe is a snap to make yet it has a bit of gourmet flair. Serve them for a party or a quick dessert. They store well in the refrigerator for a few days. We passed these out at the farm last Saturday and they were a big hit. Even the kids can help make these!

Chocolate Covered Blueberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and thoroughly dried. (Dry is very important or the chocolate won't stick)

In a double boiler or medium bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate chips. Stir in shortening. Add blueberries and gently stir until well coated.
Drop by teaspoonfuls to form small clusters onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Chill until firm. Once the clusters are firm transfer to a container. Serve on a plate or in paper candy cups. Keeps for 2 to 3 days in covered container in the refrigerator.
Here's a thought....If you use dark chocolate you get a treat loaded with health benefits and very little guilt. It's a well known fact that blueberries are loaded with good things like antioxidants and vitamins so a dessert with blueberries just has to be good for you. If you use dark chocolate then you get even more health benefits. Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and contains antioxidants. Seems like a win, win dessert to me. I'm all for healthy but yummy!

Closed Saturday

Sorry for the inconvenience but the farm will be closed Saturday. In fact, we are closing for a few days so stay tuned and we'll let you know when we'll be open again.

We've had a lot of people picking in the past week and the ripe berries are picked out. The berries that remain need time to ripen. Not sure how long that will take so the best we can do is let you know on the blog or on the phone message. Keep checking back for updates....

In the meantime I'm going to post some of our favorite recipes. All of them include blueberries of course! I'll get started on that later today.

Have a great weekend. Stay cool...........

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Open Friday

The farm will be open Friday from 7:30-12:00pm.

There are ripe berries but you will need to look for them a little harder than you did at the start of the season. Look for berries in places most people don't pick---up high, down low, and in the middle of the bush.

See you there!

Questions and Answers about orders

Just in case you were wondering what happens when you order pre-picked berries....

Q- Where do the pre-picked berries come from
A- We fill orders with berries harvested from our farm.

Q-When are the berries picked?
A- The berries are harvested on the day you are scheduled to pick them up. To give our pickers time to harvest the berries we ask you to pick up your order at the end of our business day, 11:30am or 7:30pm.

Q-What happens to the berries after you pick them?
A- Berries are sorted by hand to remove stems, leaves, bugs, damaged and under-ripe berries. They are then weighed, bagged, labeled, and stored in our walk-in cooler until you pick them up.

Q-Do you wash the berries in my order?
A-No. We do not spay our berries with anything so there are no chemical residues to remove. Dry berries store longer than berries that are wet. Rinse your berries just before use.

Q-How do you fill an order for frozen berries?
A-The same way we fill orders for fresh berries. Orders for frozen berries are filled with berries from the current season. They are sorted,weighed, bagged, labeled, and then quick frozen immediately. This ensures you are getting the freshest berries possible.

Q-Why don't you hold fresh berries for pick up on another day?
A-We want your berries to be as fresh as possible when you pick them up so you get the benefit of high quality berries. Also, we do not operate the walk-in cooler when the farm is closed so there is no way to keep fresh berries cool. Orders for fresh berries that aren't picked up the day they are harvested are put into the freezer. We can sell them to you frozen or re-pick your order at a later time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Q-Why do you stop taking orders?
A-Orders come in quickly once the season begins. Because we fill orders the day they are picked up we are limited in how many orders we can fill each day. As the season goes on the amount of berries in the field decreases and it becomes more difficult to fill orders. We don't want to promise berries to you and then not be able to fill the order. After we have caught up we sometimes begin taking orders again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Open Thursday

We will be open for picking Thursday evening from 5-8pm.

We won't be taking any more pre-pick orders. We are backlogged
through July 7th and can't be sure that the field will supply enough
berries after that. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Open Wednesday

We will be open today from 7:30am until 12 noon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The farm will be open Tuesday Evening

Hours are 5-8pm. After 3 days of ripening it looks good for picking.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Closed Monday, June 22

After reviewing the field this evening we've decided that it would be best to let the berries ripen another day.

We plan to open again Tuesday evening, June 23, from 5-8pm.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Busy, busy Saturday

What a great day at the farm. We had a record number of people picking today. A record number since we have owned it, I should say. Over 1,000 pounds of berries were picked!
It looked like rain when we opened this morning but all we got were a few sprinkles. The cloud cover and steady breeze was a welcome relief from the hot, humid conditions. By late morning the clouds were gone, the sun was out and temperatures started to climb. That didn't seem to deter too many people as we still had cars pulling in steadily most of the morning. People were very patient standing in a long line to check out.

Because of the large number of berries picked we will evaluate the field Sunday to determine if we will open Monday or not. Sometimes the berries that are left on the bushes are not quite ripe and need a day or two to ripen. For this reason it's always wise to call the farm or check the blog before you come out to pick. We always feel bad when people show up to pick and find the farm closed. This happened Friday and we again apologize to those who came to pick but were faced with a CLOSED sign instead. Thanks for your understanding.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Open Saturday, June 20

The farm will be open Saturday from 7:30 until 12 noon.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Closed Friday, June 19

We had a very busy and productive evening at the farm today. The Globe article really got people's attention. Because there were so many people picking tonight the bushes are pretty picked over. We've decided to let the field rest until Saturday. We won't be open
tomorrow for U-pick. We're sorry for any inconvenience. We want customers to have nice ripe berries when they come to pick and closing the field is a way to allow more berries to ripen.

If you placed an order to be picked up on Friday, you can come at 11:30 to pick it up.

We will be open for U-pick on Saturday, June 20th, from 7:30-12 noon.

It's always a good idea to call the farm, or check the blog, before you come to pick. We always update the phone message so you will know before you come whether the farm is open or not.

Newspaper article and family ties.

We were featured in the Joplin Globe today! If you didn't get a chance to read the article you should get a copy of the Globe and read it. Anne Hershewe did a great job of spotlighting the blueberry farms around the Joplin area. Our thanks to her for including our farm in the article. It's always fun reading about local farms that sell fresh produce. Each farm is unique and offer a variety of experiences for their customers.

The article mentioned that we are a family-owned and run business. We are certainly all about family here at HFF. It's great to see families and friends come together in groups for a fun outing to the farm! It's a great summertime tradition and we know that many of you are regulars and have come to the farm for many seasons to get your fresh-picked blueberries and enjoy the experience of the farm first hand! No pun intended.

I am the granddaughter of the owners Ted and Donna, and I truly love being a part of their business. I enjoy working along side my family members including siblings, cousins, an aunt and my parents.

Each person works to keep the farm running smoothly in their own way. Let me introduce you to my family and give you an idea of the work that goes into the farm.

Farm owners: Ted and Donna - known to me as Granddad and Nana. Besides managing and overseeing farm business, Grandad keeps the property mowed, the irrigation system running, and weeds, prunes and fertilizes the bushes. He is also caretaker of the bees and honey production. My cousin is working with him this year as his assistant. Nana does anything that needs to be done around the farm. You'll see her in the office or out in the field. She loves to visit with customers and gets to know a lot of them.

Office: Laura, my Mom, runs the office, keeps the orders running smoothly, and makes sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing! My aunt is also working this year helping in the office and picking berries.

Field Workers: Three of my sisters are regular pickers and work hard to keep orders filled! They also help in the office from time to time during the season.

Field Service: My youngest sister, who is 9, sometimes helps customers out in the field by bringing their full bags of berries back to the office to be stored in the cooler, allowing them to continue picking. She really loves her job and I love to see her with her red wagon walking through the field, chatting with customers and collecting their bags.

I (Hannah) help out with managing the email accounts, the blog, sorting berry orders, and general office work.

In the winter months many of us work together to prune the bushes. It takes about 3 months to get it all done before spring!

Last year, our first year in business, was a big learning curve for us. We made some mistakes but we've learned a lot along the way. We really appreciate the patience of our loyal customers, many of whom have been coming to the farm since the Chism's owned it. They've been patient with our blunders and given us encouragement when they saw positive changes.

I'm so grateful to be working for my grandparents, helping them sell healthy blueberries to the community.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday's picking report

It was a beautiful day for picking berries. It's definitely a family friendly activity. The sun is drying up the field so picking is not quite as messy but there are a few puddles left. A few customers commented that they found the best picking where no one else wanted to go.......where the deepest puddles are! So, puddles do have an up side.

There are lots of ripe berries that need picked so make plans to visit the farm soon.

We are taking orders for fresh and frozen berries.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Open Wednesday 7:30am-12:00

The farm will be open tomorrow for picking. Hopefully, with another day or two of sunshine the water puddles will dry up. Lots of folks braved the wet rows this evening for an hour or two of berry picking.

Tomorrow's forecast is 92 and sunny. Don't forget your sunscreen!

Watery conditions

This is what the berry patch looked like this morning right after the storm passed through. Most of the rows had standing water of a couple inches or more. Water levels will be down this evening but you will need to wear appropriate shoes. We haven't been able to get down the rows with the mower so the grass is getting a little tall.
A word of caution....please don't cross between bushes to get to another row. We have drip irrigation lines laying on top of the mulch and we don't want anyone to trip over them. Please go
around to the ends of the rows.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the farm this evening! The farm will be open from 5-8pm.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We'll be open Tuesday Evening

Hot and humid...........those two words often go along with my memories of berry picking.
Today was one of those days and it looks like the rest of the week will bring more of the same.
In spite of that there were a lot of people who came out to pick today.

Berries love rain and sun and we've had plenty of both lately. There just hasn't been enough sun
to dry up the puddles in the rows. We appreciate your patience with the water.

The farm will be open tomorrow from 5pm-8pm. Evening picking is pleasant because the field is shaded. Picking blueberries is a good way to spend an evening after a long day at work.

Hopefully, I can get some pictures uploaded soon. I've been out of town and haven't been
able to work on this like I want.

I apologize to anyone who has tried to leave a comment on the blog since I didn't realize I hadn't enabled it. We've resolved that issue so if anyone wants to comment we'd be glad to hear
from you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We are open Monday...

Saturday was a great day for berry picking! Over 700 pounds of sweet, juicy blueberries left the farm to make their way into pies, pancakes, muffins, smoothies or bread. Many were eaten on the spot.
"The berries are a lot bigger than last year."
"There are so many berries it was easy to fill my bucket!"
Those were some of the comments we got from customers who enjoyed the morning of picking.

We will be open Monday, June 15, from 7:30 - 12:00 noon.

The forecast is calling for 50 percent chance of rain on Monday. Be aware that if it rains during picking hours we will call people in from the field. Your safety is our main concern. Thanks for your cooperation.

We are now taking orders for fresh or frozen berries. The price for We-pick is $3.95/ pound.

Also, with all the rain we've had in the last week there are areas of standing water in some of the rows. It might be a little soggy so plan footwear accordingly. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Looking forward to seeing you at the farm.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blueberry Bread Recipes

Here's a couple of delicious ways to use up some of those delightful blueberries! We thought both of these recipes were very good and we wanted to share them with you.

Blueberry Sunshine Loaf

1-1/4 cup oil
5 eggs
2 Cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour, divided
2 pkgs. instant lemon pudding mix
2 Cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

In small bowl, toss blueberries with 2 Tbsp flour to coat. In large bowl, beat eggs with oil, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda. Stir in remaining flour and dry pudding mixes until well-blended (batter is very thick). Stir in flour-coated blueberries. Bake at 350 deg. in greased pans.

Three 8"x4" loaf pans: 50-60 min. Two 9"x5" loaf pans: 60-75 min. Seven 5"x3" mini-loaves: 35-45 min.

Turn out of pans, cool on wire racks


Blueberry Bread

3 Cups flour
3 eggs
1-1/2 Cups milk
1- 1/2 Cups oil
1 -1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp almond flavoring
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2-1/4 Cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp butter flavoring
2-1/2 Cups blueberries

1/8 Cup orange juice
1/3 Cup sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp butter flavoring
3/4 tsp almond flavoring

In a small bowl toss blueberries with a little flour to coat. Mix all wet (bread) ingredients and beat. Mix all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix very well, and fold in blueberries. Put into 2 well-greased bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 75-85 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, the remove from pan.

Heat frosting ingredients. When bread is completely cool, drizzle frosting on.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time to pick

We are going to open the farm for U-Pick on Saturday, June 13 from 7:30 - 12 noon. The berries are looking really good.
We've been asked about picking conditions. Be aware that we do not spray for bugs so there
may be the occasional mosquito but we've not had complaints about chiggers. We worked hard this year trying to get rid of weeds so the rows are much neater.

Please note: we will not be taking We-pick orders for fresh berries at this time. We do have frozen berries available for purchase.

Looking forward to a great day of picking. Don't forget your sunscreen!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Frozen berries for sale.....

We've been picking the first of the ripe berries and have the freezer full so to make more room we will open the farm tomorrow evening (Tuesday) from 5-8pm to sell frozen berries on a first-come-first-served basis. We have 200 pounds of berries available. We are not taking orders at this time and we will not have fresh berries tomorrow evening.

We're getting closer to opening but there is still more ripening to be done so tomorrow evening we will NOT be open for picking. We'll post to the blog, update the phone message, and put notices in the Joplin, Carthage, and Webb City newspapers when we open.