News from the Farm

At one point it seemed like summer would never get here. Now it’s here and going by so very fast! Just another 8 weeks and the kids are back in school when it just feels like they got off yesterday!

One of the great things about the summer moving along is it means that raspberry harvest is right around the corner. At Cornaby’s Farm we grow a few different types of berries, but they are all late bearing in that we harvest from mid July through October, instead of some of the early May and June crops. This year some spring rain got things going with a bang and the farm is well on its way to the first pickings of the seasons about two weeks early! Yeah, my tastebuds are already doing a happy dance, especially because I’m down to only 6 containers of Jam in a Jiffy raspberry jam and I must make more this year.

So a few bits of news from the farm:

1: Berries will be available starting mid July. This is a little early and the first pickings will be a bit light, but they will be there. Just call ahead if you’d like to come by and get a flat. As the season picks up there will be more availability but it’s never a bad idea to call ahead so we can be ready for you. There will be discounts for multi flat sales. (801-472-8365)

2: Berries will come in 6 pound flats, which will be picked and kept in a refrigerator truck so they’re held crisp and perfect until you get there.

3: There will not be a U-pick option this year. We’re sorry to have to discontinue this, but due to insurance concerns it’s not something the farm can continue to do. However, we’re still happy to teach classes about berries and planting and such, so if you have a canning group, boyscouts, etc, we do have materials and such we can provide.

4: You can find us at the Spanish Fork Farmer’s market every Saturday starting July 25th! We try to drop off additional flats during the day as the market goes on, but it is possible for us to sell out of fruit, so come early!

5: There won’t be blackberries this year. They’ve struggled and we’re going to look at new varieties and options.

6: Come and see the shade cloth! One of the coolest things happening this year is that we are part of a study to examine the benefits of covering raspberry plants with a thin mesh cloth called shade cloth. This keeps some of the heat, it’s upto 10 degrees cooler under the cloth, and the direct sun off the berries, while still allowing rain and some light through. I always think of it like being a kid under a trampoline. You still got some sun, but it was much more comfortable. The same thing goes for the berries. Unprotected berries will get sunburn where parts of the berry will be bleached white and the texture is harder. The hope is that this process of shielding the berries will make for better yields and sweeter berries. Come on by and take a look!

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We’re so thankful for being able to be family farmers. So many people are many generations removed from their food and we get to go out and get our hands (faces, pants, shoes and everything else) dirty every day and be part of the support of our local economies and food supply. It’s a blessing even when it’s hard, but we love the land and are proud of our heritage of family farming and providing the very best nature has to offer from our farm to your table.

Cornaby’s Farm

Now, if you’re wondering what to do with those lovely raspberries once you get them home, here are some suggestions!

1: Wash and eat. No fuss, though I can’t guarantee no mess.

2: Serve in a bowl with a little bit of cream or milk and sugar. Best breakfast ever!

3: Go to this post where we have our Strawberry Spinach Salad. Replace the strawberries with raspberries. Consume with delight.

4: Spread them out on a cookie tray and freeze before removing to a ziploc bag and storing in the freezer. This gives you wonderful berries that are ready to go in smoothies, cookies, or any other fresh application all through the winter.

5: Whip up some jam in a jiffy raspberry jam and use to fill thumbprint cookies, top homemade bread or just eat by the spoonful.

So what do you do with your berries?

Berry Picking Etiquette

raspberries on plant 2It’s not often I get to write an etiquette post, but as our u-pick season is right around the corner it seemed like a good time to review a few things.  Berry picking is a fun activity and a good learning opportunity, but it goes better for both the pickers and the farmers if some rules are followed.  These general rules of berry picking apply not only if you come and visit Cornaby’s (generally starting the second to third week of August!) but should apply to any u-pick opportunity.

1 – Dress appropriately.  This rule is for your benefit and comfort.  Berry picking days are often sunny and hot and you don’t want to end up sunburned and scratched!  Light weight clothing with long sleeves is a good idea and if you are going to be out for very long you may want to consider a hat as well.  Always wear sturdy shoes, structured sandles are okay, but closed tennis shoes or boots are even better.

2 – Always call ahead.  Farmers keep close track as to what is ripe when and how many people they can put into their fields.  Often they can manage adding one or two people, but if you come with an entire scout troop to pick berries it’s hard to accommodate at the last minute.

3 – Listen to the farmer’s briefing on any hazards you should be aware of.  Most farms are very safe, but there is equipment which should be avoided and, in our case and many others, there may be things like bee hives on the land.  The last thing we want is an accidental incident between humans and bees!

4 – Stay in the rows where the farmer has asked you to.  When it comes to berry picking the farmer maps out what rows get picked on what days and goes through a rotation so that fruit doesn’t rot on the bush and there is always plenty to pick for both his crew and for u-pickers that come to visit.  If you wander through the field picking a little here and a little there it throws off this schedule as well as being dangerous as the farmer doesn’t know where you are anymore.  There will be plenty to pick where you are sent, though it requires getting in there and lifting those vines to get at the beauties underneath.  :)

5 – Berry picking is not an all you can eat buffet.  Yes, you’re going to eat a berry or two particularly if you have children with you.  We expect that, but as you pay by the pound for the fruit it is very unfair to the farmer if you pick one and eat five only paying for the one.  Kids who come picking need to learn this lesson too.  We try to keep our rates very reasonable and we love having you come, but the only way we can keep our pricing reasonable and the opportunity for u-pick open is if we can cover the cost.

So there are a few things to think about when you consider berry picking as a summer activity.  Keeping these rules in mind will make the experience better for everyone and we’ll be able to offer opportunities for years to come.

Heehee…we’re in the news?

Okay, this is one of those shameless plug and giddy moments.  I just can’t help it!

Yesterday Cornaby’s was in the Desert News!  How cool is that!  It’s a fun story and the pictures are gorgeous!  Thank you so much to Food Editor Valerie Phillips and photographer Jeff Allred.  They were so much fun to work with and the result is just a thing of beauty.  Now I need to find a bunch of copies to send to the relatives!  How fun!

In other news we’ll also be at the Stadium Farmer’s market at BYU today from 2-7.  I’d looove to see some familiar faces stop on by.  Even just to say Hi!

Jana Brown

Hot Hot Hot – Shamless plug

It’s Shamless Self Promotion day at Cornabys.  Mostly because I’m excited about our new products and I can’t help but talk about them.  Tune back in tomorrow for more general food talk, or read on to see what’s new in our kitchen!

We’ve had two new births in our line of products and we want to share them with you.  (And yet again I’m without my camera, dangit!  One of these days I’m going to just hook it to my earlobe so I don’t forget it.  Pictures coming.)

Baby the first is a vintage 2009 Cornaby’s Raspberry Vinegar.  These are a limited product since they’re from last year’s stock, but ever so yummy.  We made a killer vinaigrette a few days ago.  And baby the second is the new Raspberry Chipotle Spreadable Fruit for those who thought that Raspberry Jalapeno was too tame.

Starting tonight these products will be available via the Cornaby’s website or at our Farmer’s market booths in Spanish Fork, Lehi or Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend.

Tomorrow…rice pudding update and rye wheat sesame bread!

Jana Brown

They’re here!

Gardening is an interesting experience, whether you’re an outback gardener with a few plants, or a 20 acre raspberry farmer.  We’ve been going along with beautiful lush vines all loaded with fruit, but none of it ripe.  Then out came the sun and the heat and even though we expected berries in about 10 days, they’re here now and they’re beautiful!

I’ll even have a picture to put up here soon…I say soon because I forgot to take a picture of the crate that was sitting in front of me being snack food.  Oops.

So if you’re looking for fresh berries to jam, bake, decorate or just plain eat…  The berries are here!  We’ll be selling flats at the SLC farmer’s market, or pop over to our website and order them down at the farm in Spanish Fork or Salem, Utah.  We’re so excited!

As well we have a couple of big events coming up, which will get their own posts later today!  Stay tuned!