Farmers and gardeners in the Northeast sometimes lament the inability to grow plants in acidic soil. A low pH in soil affects a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. But there is one genus of plants that thrives in acidic soil and this season, we are the better for it.
Vaccinium (pronounced vak- SIN- ee- um) – the genus that produces cranberries, lingonberries, and huckleberries – brings us an abundant crop this year of everybody’s favorite: high-bush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum). And the folks at Rose’s Berry Farm are elated. With over 42 acres of blueberry fields in South Glastonbury, Rose’s is the largest berry producer in Connecticut. Lucky for us, they’ll bring their bounty to the Westport Farmers’ Market this week.
Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat; they boost heart, brain, and eye health and are known cancer fighters. Of course, there is practically no limit to recipes for blueberries, either. Why not simmer a simple compote of berries and maple syrup or honey to serve over Nutty Bunny frozen vanilla or chocolate dessert? Or, if you crave something on the sweeter side, Rose’s has an old-fashioned streusel recipe to share (see below). However you prefer them, run, don’t walk, to the Rose’s Berry Farm booth at the Westport Farmers’ Market, held this and every Thursday from 10 to 2. Get there early; we heard there was a line at a berry booth before the New Canaan Farmers’ Market even opened last Saturday!
Berries aren’t the only reason to run to the WFM this week; high summer brings out all of your favorite veggies (yes, that means tomatoes are starting to appear!) and activities. Vespa is this week’s chef of the market, with a demonstration beginning at 10:15; PAWS is the featured not-for-profit organization; and music by local young cellists is NOT TO BE MISSED! Stroll artist’s alley, where five local artists will display their talents, and please support our budding photographers participating in the Young Shoots Competition.
Yes, it’s hot out there, but the Westport Farmers’ Market is the coolest place to be on Thursdays from 10 – 2. Hope to see you there.
Rose’s Berry Farm Blueberry Streusel
- 1/2 butter
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 c. sifted flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 2 c. blueberries
- 1/2 c. cold butter
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 c. sugar
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Sift dry ingredients together and add, alternately with buttermilk, to butter mixture. Pour into well-greased 9" x 13" pan. Top with blueberries. Mix sugar, flour, and spices. Cut butter into pieces and blend into dry ingredients with a pastry blender. Mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle over blueberries. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.