The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

July 9, 2013

Picking season starts today at Blueberry Hill

FLAT TOP — Generations of so-called picky eaters — those preferring food straight from origin to table — will find their seasonal thrill beginning today at Blueberry Hill, as the Flat Top farm officially opens to its highly anticipated 2013 crop.

This is the farm’s 21st year of production and the format for picking remains the same year to year. Pickers browse 15 pristine acres of bushes with ample area for moving between rows burgeoning with large and colorful berries of the Blueray, Berkeley and Coville and other varieties of Northern Highbush. BYOB (bringing your own bucket) is an option, or loaner buckets of various sizes are also available at the farm’s entry.

Each container, not each patron, gets pre-weighed before the picking. Blueberry Hill charges a modest $1.99 per pound picked for the farm-to-table experience, or, as is the case with especially eager little harvesters, farm to mouth.

“While u-pickers at Blueberry Hill do save money over store prices, from our experience that’s not why they come,” claims the Blueberry Hill website. “… Most come for the freshest, sweetest fruit available.”

Lacy Treadway of Beaver and her family look forward to u-pick season. “We go several times each summer because the different bushes ripen at different times. Some of the bushes are sweeter. The Blueray bushes are so sweet they almost taste like the blueberry flavoring.”

Treadway admits that her husband, Thomas, holds the family record for two- to three-hour duration picks, gathering 30 pounds one year. In her kitchen, there can never be enough blueberries.

“I make a pie as soon as we get home. Then we dehydrate some for snacks. We freeze them and make blueberry jam out of them.”

Treadway says the best way to store blueberries is to lay them in unwashed batches on cookie sheets for an initial freezing, then store in freezer bags to keep them from sticking together.

Blueberry Hill doesn’t spray their bushes with pesticides, she points out.

“When you freeze them on the cookie sheets, it’s easy to reach in and get a handful without having to thaw the whole bag.”

Blueberry Hill is located on Egeria Road and is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturdays. The farm accepts cash and checks only.

Better hurry — those “blue pearls of summer” last only until the end of August.

For more information, visit http://blueberryhillwv.com

— E-mail: lshrewsberry@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • derby dames Beckley area Derby Dames to host WFTDA team Aug. 9

    The Beckley Area Derby Dames will face off against a WFTDA-certified team, the Harrisonburg, Va., Rocktown Rollers, Aug. 9 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • phil roop Artisans show off skills at String Band Festival

    The Appalachian String Band Festival celebrates the music of the mountains each year.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Calendar — Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

    August 1, 2014

  • VA clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    August 1, 2014

  • Beckley festival seeking vendors

    Taste of Appalachia is seeking restaurants, vendors, organizations and churches to participate in the Aug. 23 event. 

    August 1, 2014

  • 080114 FRI TWV multitalented teen.jpg Only 13, Shady Spring and TWV teen has big resume

    Well-rounded is an understatement for 13-year-old Rachel McNeel. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 ST.FrancisTeens.jpg Rummage sale to help teens attend WYD

    Young people at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church will be sponsoring a rummage sale at the church today and Saturday. The sale will help raise money to send the young folks to World Youth Day in Poland to meet Pope Francis.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tamarack lists weekend events

    Tamarack Events Director Kelly Elkins invites everyone to pay a visit to the Best of West Virginia this weekend for free music, a farmer’s market and live artisan demonstrations. 

    August 1, 2014

  • New River CTC celebrates move to new campus

    New River Community and Technical College personnel greeted new neighbors Thursday with cookies and lemonade as furniture was moved into their institution’s new Mercer Street campus in the former First Community Bank building.

    August 1, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014