Try Berry PickingPosted: January 3, 2012
From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.
School is closed and summer is finally here! This isn’t the only reason to rejoice though. In my opinion, this time of the year is one of the best times of the year for eating well in the Maritimes. Why? Delicious and nutritious berries are plentiful in New Brunswick during the summer.
Strawberries are considerable sources of folate, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. Raspberries are also considerable sources of fiber, manganese and vitamin C, as well as considerable sources of vitamine K and magnesium. Blueberries provide fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Berry picking tops my list of favorite summer activities for many reasons aside from the nutrition aspect. It tastes delicious (freshly-picked berries have unbeatable flavor), costs little (since berries that you pick yourself are sold at prices lower than those of the grocery store) and the memories last all year (berries can be frozen and then enjoyed throughout the winter). It is also a wonderful activity to do with family and friends: almost everyone can pick berries even if they have not done so before and conversations can happen easily around a berry bush.
Berry picking requires minimal equipment: water bottles to quench thirst, sunscreen to protect your skin, old clothes in case of staining, light-weight bowls for carrying berries, and maybe cushions to protect knees from hard ground.
Strawberry season is now just starting. If these tasty berries are the ones you are interested in, start blocking off time for picking and call berry farms near you to obtain hours of operation and directions. Raspberry and blueberry seasons will take place in late July and August respectively.
PickYourOwn.org and Moncton tourism (1-800-363-4558) are both good sources of information if you want to find a berry farm near you. Monctonians looking for strawberries and raspberries to pick can visit Utopia U-Pick (506-384-7629) at 1312 Gorge Road in Stilesville. For blueberries, Monctonians can visit Les Petits Fruits de Pre-d’en-Haut (506-758-0987; visit http://www.lespetitsfruit.ca for directions).
Originally published in the Times & Transcript on June 26th, 2010.