In which we visit Monadnock Berries

The first in our ongoing series of posts on What We Did This Summer.

The Monadnock Berries orchard

As you may remember, one of our more memorable road trips this summer was to a berry picking farm in New Hampshire. Monadnock Berries is a family owned and operated 225-year-old farm within sight of Mount Monadnock in Troy, NH. Finding this place was an adventure all in itself, as our car’s GPS seems to be allergic to country roads. Fortunately, there were plenty of signs to help us out when our GPS sneezed.

What’s there:

  • Pick your own fruit (in season)
  • Garden Center & Farm Stand with light snacks and beverages (and a fabulous view of the orchard and mountain)
  • Gift Shop with handcrafted local items, fair trade items, beaded work from Uganda, and all kinds of blueberry-themed items including glassware and stationary
  • Two sandboxes
  • Picnic area
  • Goats
  • Golf cart rides are available for seniors

What we did:

At the farm, we were equipped with a silver 8-gallon bucket lined with a plastic bag to collect blueberries and a woven basket that held six green pint containers to collect the raspberries. We started off with the blueberry trees in the front of the orchard. Hands down this was the best blueberry picking experience I have ever had. The berries were ripe and plentiful, and several were large as grapes.

The only downside to the blueberry picking is that my daughter couldn’t reach the higher branches. So we either had to boost her up or focus on the trees with low-lying limbs. Even so, it seemed to take only a few minutes to fill our bucket with blueberries.

The vast majority of our two-hour visit was spent raspberry picking, as finding good raspberries required a lot more hunting. Only rarely would we find two or more ripe berries clustered in one spot.

The raspberry hunt was also relatively tough work for the taller members of our family, as it required bending over and peering beneath leaves to find the best berries. Needless to say, my daughter was just the right height to find the best berries (and she loved being acknowledged as the raspberry picking expert in the family).

Our Haul

Once we had gathered as many berries as we wanted, we trudged back up to the Garden Center to purchase them. (You are charged by the pound after the picking’s done).

The Garden Center doubles as an informal cafe, where you can purchase a bottle of water, juice, or iced tea and relax at one of their open air tables. Their balcony is situated to give you an incredible view of the orchard with its mountain backdrop.

When to go

The following is a rough guide to when the berries are available. Check the Monadnock Berries website or call ahead for more detailed information about this season’s harvest.

What to take with you

We arrived shortly before noon on a Sunday. Thankfully, our visit occurred before this summer’s Excessive Heat Event. Even so, the roughly 85 degree day was definitely warm enough to make the second hour of picking a bit of a challenge for the less heat tolerant in our group. If you do go, take a bottle of water with you. A hat and sunscreen are good too. You’ll definitely get some sun before you are done.

Oh, and bug spray. Bug spray would have been nice.

So would we go again?

Absolutely. Thanks to this trip, we’ve got enough homemade raspberry and blueberry jam to last at least 6 months. And the Berries Romanov we had for dinner that night was pretty great too.

Dinner

Logistical Stuff

Where Monadnock Berries
What A pick-your-own (PYO) blueberry, raspberry, gooseberry, & currant farm with amazing berries and a mountain view.
Address 545 West Hill Rd, Troy, NH 03465
Phone 1-603-242-6417
Website monadnockberries.com
Twitter @monadnockberry
Facebook Monadnock Berries PYO and Garden Center
Email monadnockberries@gmail.com
Cost $2.99/lb for blueberries
$5.49/lb for all other berries
Hours PYO Farm Open Daily 8am – 6pm

Related Caterpickles:

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About Shala Howell

I write about wildly curious kids, rabbits who hunt dragons, and 1880s Boston. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), I blog about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, muse about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, or tweet about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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2 Responses to In which we visit Monadnock Berries

  1. Barbara Howell says:

    Sounds like fun and the Berries Romanov look delish.

    Like

  2. Pingback: In which we visit the Magic Flute Toy Shop | CATERPICKLES

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