Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blueberries, Both Edible and Knitable

Within three days of arriving at Cultus Lake I had discovered my first local food source, and I have to say it has been quite the find! Just six kilometres south of us, along a narrow country road, is a U-Pick blueberry farm. This isn't just any old U-Pick. It is a no spray farm located in the most beautiful setting you could imagine, operated by incredibly friendly people.


The bushes are loaded with huge, juicy berries. It takes me about fifteen minutes to pick six or seven pounds, and I don't have to move more than a few feet as I pick.


Rebekah went out with me last week, and in no time at all we had picked twenty-three pounds!


As I sat on the porch one evening last week kitchener stitching the toe of a sock together, I suddenly realized something. The socks were the exact colours of the blueberry patch I had been frequenting. This is where it turns out it is a good thing the blueberry farmers are friendly. The next day when I went out to pick berries I took my socks with me. I asked if it would be okay for me to do a photo shoot in the blueberry field. I'm quite sure it was the strangest request they have had all summer. Or maybe in their entire lives.


The socks were knit using Rowan's new sock yarn, Fine Art. It is lovely yarn. Possibly too lovely for socks. By the time I finished this pair I had come to the conclusion that it would have been better suited for a scarf or shawl. It is soft and silky, and it seems a shame to waste all that goodness on smelly old feet.

Rowan Fine Art Colour 305 Kingfisher
The view from the backyard of the blueberry farmers' house shows you why I almost had to change the name of this blog from North of 49 after we moved here.


See that line cut through the trees on the mountain behind their yard? That's the Canada/US border.

24 comments:

  1. These images have left me with a very limited vocabulary--awesome blueberries (honestly the best I've seen), awesome views and awesome socks!

    PS - Where's the border fence to keep out the southern neighbors??? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome is a good word to describe it. I'm in complete agreement with you:-)

      The border thing is strange. Apparently back in the 1920s (think rum runners) there was a border crossing there. I wish that was still the case. For reasons other than rum running of course. The blueberry farmers told me the border is monitored, and the US would know if someone tried to cross it. I don't see how it could possibly be true though. Maybe I should try running some berries across just to test it out.

      Delete
    2. We don't talk about it, but the fellow (Joe Hirshhorn) who donated funding and art collections to establish the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum (modern art) made his fortune as a bootlegger.

      PS - Please don't attempt to transport tomatoes! :)

      Delete
    3. I can't believe you remember the tomato border crossing incident! :-)

      Delete
  2. That's a lot of blueberries! You're so lucky to have them near you. I would be there all the time. You'll be able to enjoy berries year-round if you freeze them. Your socks are beautiful and I love that you did a photo shoot at the farm, that's really cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have frozen tons of berries! They are great in smoothies and muffins during the winter, and I also like to have small bowls of them partially thawed with my lunch. I wish there was a way I could share them with all of you!

      Delete
  3. Wow, I have never seen blueberries growing, and they look so fresh and delicious. I usually buy frozen because by the time the fresh reach our shops they are almost beyond eating! Your socks are fab; a great colourway and they look so cosy. Love that you took them to a blueberry photoshoot. Dreaming of those smoothies and muffins - Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blueberries do really well in this area. I think it has something to do with all the rain. It's too bad the ones in your shops aren't good. They are sort of like that in our stores too - many of them are soft and mushy, or worse yet, mouldy.

      Delete
  4. Lucky find for you, I'd be making jam with some of those. Your socks match perfectly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went on a blueberry jam making spree last year and still have some left. I think the next batch I pick I will put in my dehydrator. Dried blueberries are great in granola.

      Delete
  5. A good U-pick is a wonderful thing!!
    I didn't realize you were so close the border now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As the crow flies we must be about 7 or 8 kilometres.

      From reading your blog it looks to me like you have your own bean U-Pick!

      Delete
  6. Your socks look great with the berries! Lovely photo idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kirstin - it is amazing how close the colours are to the berries!

      Delete
  7. Your new location looks amazing! I love the new header and the blueberry farm looks a good place to visit. What do you do with all the blueberries? How clever to have matching socks. The last picture showing the border between the 2 countries was interesting too.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could claim being clever about the matching socks, but it was a complete accident. :-)

      I freeze lots of blueberries to use in the winter, we have been eating them fresh every day, plus I have made a couple blueberry crisps and a blueberry coffee cake, and right now i have some drying in the dehydrator.

      I'm glad you like the header. There will be more about that kayak in my next post!

      Delete
  8. ohh I would love to have those blueberries so close - YUMMY! I love that you took your socks back to photograph there, what a pretty photo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know until a couple days after we moved here that this blueberry farm was just down the road. It was a very nice surprise!

      Delete
  9. Never say a yarn is "too good for socks"... a nice lady who sent me a "yarn therapy" after my ex left, said that "you are the queen of your home and as such, you deserve to walk on silk, and covered is cashmere" You do deserve the beast sock yarn on your feet... and I think if you really want to make a scarf from the same yarn there is more where this hank came from isn't it? :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must confess that I do sometimes walk on at least cashmere, if not silk. I have several pairs of socks knit out of a merino/cashmere blend. This is my first pair that has silk thrown into the mix though, and I think it is the silk that makes them feel sort of non-socky. While it is lovely yarn, that slippery feeling the silk gives makes it seem better suited to something other than socks. It will be interesting to see if I like wearing them. Who knows, they might become my favourite socks!

      Delete
  10. That scenery is awe-inspiring! I love the coincidence of blueberries and yarn and would happily give house-room to lots of both. However, I agree that lavishing silk and kid mohair on socks which will wear out seems a trifle extravagant. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the scenery - it is amazing. It came as a total surprise to me. Until we moved here I had no idea that valley existed, or that there were farms out there.

      No worries about the supply of blueberries or yarn. I have enough frozen blueberries to feed an army, and enough stashed yarn to clothe them. :-)

      Delete
  11. The blueberries and the socks both look delicious! I think I've mostly let the berry picking season get past me this year. Remember, your feet are what get you through this world. They deserve a little silk. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear you let the berry picking season pass you by. Do you have blackberries where you live? They are just starting to ripen here. They would give you one last chance to get some berry picking in.

      That is very true about feet getting us through the world. :-)

      Delete