Upper Delaware Magazine

Berry, berry good

And so are the rest of summer’s fruits

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 7/29/20

It’s fruit season!

Blackberries, blueberries, apples, peaches and plums. Gooseberries. Elderberries!

Despite everything that’s going on, we can still comfort ourselves with bowls of …

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Upper Delaware Magazine

Berry, berry good

And so are the rest of summer’s fruits

Posted

It’s fruit season!

Blackberries, blueberries, apples, peaches and plums. Gooseberries. Elderberries!

Despite everything that’s going on, we can still comfort ourselves with bowls of fruit. With or without sugar, with or without cream, eaten fresh or baked into something wonderful, fruit makes us happy.

And don’t forget the terrific health benefits. Fruits contain a host of antioxidants that can help prevent disease. Most fruits are lower in calories and high in fiber. They’re like water and good health in one delicious package.

Honesdale’s Anthill Farm Agroforestry grows strawberries, melons, apples, European and Asian pears and peaches, not to mention berries. “So of course we love fruit,” said farmer Monique Milleson. The berries, in fact, are grown between the fruit trees. “We believe growing this way maximizes production by using vertical space,” she said. “It also breaks up pest and disease cycles because it’s not a mono-crop of one species, but rather a patchwork of many, all working together.”

What does she love best about fruit? “Getting to taste the first ripe fruit right off the tree. There’s nothing like it,” she said.

You can experience that joy, too. Many farms around here offer pick-your-own, and others sell at local farmers’ markets, the next best thing. (And some do both!)

Read on for a list of some of the amazing fruit available in our region, and where you can buy it or pick it yourself.

Bonus: Once you get home with your haul, you can go to www.pickyourown.org or your local cooperative extension and learn how to preserve whatever part of the bounty you don’t eat right off.

Let’s dive into the bounty of the Upper Delaware River Region. For more general, identification and harvesting information and recipes, see the attached websites.

Apples

We don’t need to tell you about apples, right? Everyone knows how incredible and versatile they are. Low in calories, with fiber and vitamin A, they can be eaten raw or cooked or made into apple butter. You can can them, too.

www.bit.ly/udmapples

Blackberries

You can find blackberries growing wild here, and they have no poisonous lookalikes, according to the Farmers’ Almanac. There are plenty of bramble berries that look similar, though, like black raspberries (smaller), and dewberries (larger berries with the bramble closer to the ground).

Eat them fresh or frozen, or make jam!

www.bit.ly/udmblackberries1

www.bit.ly/udmblackberries2

Blueberries

With 80 calories per cup and so many uses (aside from just eating out of hand), blueberries are an amazing fruit. They have vitamins C and K, manganese and fiber, and not to mention a host of antioxidants.

www.bit.ly/udmblueberries

Cherries

Cherries come in black, yellow and, of course, red. They’re full of antioxidants and might be safe for diabetics. Eat them by the bowlful or make desserts (add just a bit of almond flavoring).

www.bit.ly/udmcherries

Elderberries

The flowers are a traditional treatment for colds and flu and are supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties. These berries must be eaten cooked, but don’t eat the leaves.

www.bit.ly/udmelderberries1

www.bit.ly/udmelderberries2

Gooseberries

You’re forgiven if you aren’t familiar with these berries, which can be green, yellow, red or purple. They’ll give you 33 percent of your vitamin C. Eat them fresh, cook them or turn them into jam. Just don’t grow certain varieties in Maine, where they’re banned because they can be a host for white pine blister rust. Enjoy them here at local farmers’ markets.

www.bit.ly/udmgooseberries

Peaches

Delicious and nutritious, too. Peaches show up in so many desserts, or, of course, you can eat them plain. Vitamin A and C plus much more.

www.bit.ly/udmpeaches

Pears

You can eat pears fresh, canned, dried, made into beverages, or cooked. The Romans stewed them with honey. One hundred grams of raw pear gives you 55 calories and some fiber. They may not be the nutritional powerhouses that other fruits are, but they’re really useful and delicious.

www.bit.ly/udmpears

Plums

Plums are sweet and juicy and have lots of antioxidants to offer. Don’t forget the vitamins A, C and K, plus calcium and magnesium. Eat them raw, cook them, or dry them into prunes. You can make fermented beverages too.

www.bit.ly/udmplums

Raspberries

They come in a variety of colors, including black (so they aren’t the same as blackberries.) Low in calories, high in vitamin C, potassium and folate. Eat them fresh (quickly—they’ll spoil) or freeze or can them.

www.bit.ly/udmraspberries

Strawberries

Okay, strawberry season’s come and gone, but there’s always next year! (Although if you’re craving, frozen berries are an option.) Americans love their strawberries, consuming almost five pounds each per year. They’re high in vitamin C and only have 55 calories per cup.

www.bit.ly/udmstrawberries

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