Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Berryfields Farm: One of New York Times Places to Visit in 2009

Happy September! Nine months ago, The New York Times published a list of 44 places to go in 2009. Now, I've been to a few of those destinations over the years, but never would have included number 43 on my list of "must sees." But when I saw the entry quaintly titled "a farm in Pennsylvania" I knew I had to check it out.
Unlike Bhutan or The Red Sea, Berry Fields Farm, outside New Albany, P.A., is a bit easier to get to (particularly as it's a 90 minute drive from my parents house). However, finding the farm proved just as challenging as getting into Cuba (let's just say Google Maps is apparently not reliable out in those parts). But after making a few loops on back-country dirt roads, and asking some locals for better directions, we winded our way up the steep driveway to the farm.
Nestled on the hillside (all the better for the goats) with the actual berry fields below, the farm looks more like a country home, albeit with ducks and pigs and a rooster.
The day I visited was originally supposed to be the annual blueberry fest, but due to heavy rains the night before, the festivities were cancelled. But that did not stop us from touring the farm, and enjoying some blueberry treats, including:
Blueberry crab cakes...

...a farm-to-table salad with blueberry vinaigrette...

...and blueberry ice cream with blueberry topping.

One of the owners admitted to me that they never really wanted to get into agrotourism, but that it helps sustain the farm and their current way of life. And it helps us city folk (or even suburb folk) see what country life is all about...that is, if you can find the farm in the first place*!

*From Route 202, turn up Overton Rd. After several miles, Overton Rd. actually bears right (the road headed straight becomes another name) and takes you up the mountain. If you hit a series of hairpin turns the locals call "Devil's Elbow," you're on the right track. Turn right on Cahill, which is a hard pack dirt road, and follow for about a mile.

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