When we realized how close the trail race was to Butler’s Orchard, it was a no-brainer. Saturday visit to the farm: check!
A coworker lives close-by and happens to be part of the extended Butler family – she has repeatedly extended farm-visit invites to the office. Who turns that down? We ventured over in our post-race haze, sweaty, tired and hungry for some farm-fresh eats!
Erika and Tyler met us in the Market ready to play tour-guides for the morning. We grabbed our buckets and hopped into the golf-cart. Spoiled: party of three!
First stop: Blackberry vines.
Did you know: the red ones aren’t ripe yet. When the berries are ready to be harvested, they have big “balls” (for lack of a better term…) and will very easily pop right off the vine into your hand! Erika’s warning: check for bugs, otherwise snack on a few. Redefine “fresh” eats.
We filled half of our buckets up with beautiful juicy blackberries before heading to the next stop: raspberries!
Did you know: raspberry plants are much smaller (vs. blackberry) and the fruits grow on the underside. There are a few prickly leaves, so be careful when you’re digging in there for the good ones! When they’re ripe and ready-for-picking, the raspberry falls into your palm with the lightest pinch.
T. Butler’s preferred form of farm-transportation.
Next up: tomatoes & eggplants!
They showed us the “neon” eggplants – smaller, brighter and easier to pile up in your hands. We each picked a few & tossed them into the buckets.
Yep, that tiny guy is ready for your kitchen.
We saved the best for last: rows and rows of every kind of tomato. Have you heard of “pineapple” tomatoes? Me neither. But they’re enormous, full of flavor and the farm-tour’s favorite. We trust him, and the fact that you really can’t go wrong with summer tomatoes.
Our mouths left happy after snacking on fresh-from-the-vine cherry and roma tomatoes. Our box left full of heirloom, roma and pineapple tomatoes. Our stomachs wondered how we were still munching, but certainly didn’t complain.
Huge thanks to our tour-guides, and an even bigger one to Butler’s Orchard for opening their gates year-round for any and all to come shop at the market and/or pick-their-own fruits, vegetables and herbs on the farm!
If you’re in the area and looking for a great way to spend a few hours outside, add this to your agenda. (Coming up on the Orchard: apples, pumpkins & Christmas trees!)