Thursday, March 29, 2012

Berries’ Brain Benefits

A pretty large body of evidence indicates that berries boost brain functions … and may help prevent memory loss and other age-related declines. 

Thanks to research published two years ago by researchers from the Tufts-USDA lab, we now know that berries may help the aging brain stay healthy in a crucial, but previously unrecognized, way.


Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups low-fat buttermilk
¼ cup whole milk
1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for griddle
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (1pint) SVO blueberries
Orange maple butter, for serving (recipe follows)
Pure maple syrup, for serving
1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter, and egg. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined (mixture will be lumpy).
2. Preheat oven to 200*. Heat a griddle or a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Toss blueberries with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Brush griddle with melted butter. Spoon batter onto griddle 1/3 cup at a time. Sprinkle with sugared blueberries, about 2 tablespoons per pancake. Cook until edges are set, 3-4 minutes. Slip and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and blueberries, adding more butter to griddle and keeping prepared pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven. Serve with orange maple butter and maple syrup.
Orange Maple Butter
4 ounces ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Using a rubber spatula, combine ingredients in a small bowl. Orange maple butter can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Has Arrived..With Snow

Many people have been waiting for Spring to arrive. This week the second day of Spring decided to play a trick. Five inches of snow got dumped on us like it was the middle of Winter. It was a shock to many. Here on the Farm we had to take a break for a day. The blueberry bushes where covered in snow and looked very extraordinary. The snow and the cold weather added to the chilling hours of the blueberry plants. Blueberry plants require so many hours of chilling between approximate 32°F and 45°F, to break bud and flower normally.
 The crew took a break from pruning because of the snow and moved onto foliar feeding the raspberries and blackberries with minerals and compost teas. Today they will be foliar feeding the blueberries. Lets hope Spring doesn't play any more tricks and brings on the warm weather. Before we know it Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries and our Blackberries will be here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Choco-berry Bars

5 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup light-brown sugar
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried Sunset Valley Organics’ blueberries
½ cup choc chips

Directions: Heat oven to 350˚. Stir together the oats, walnuts, canola oil and salt.  Spread evenly into a 15x10-inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350˚ for 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture to a large bowl. Line same baking sheet with nonstick foil and set aside; lower oven temperature to 300˚combine brown sugar and honey in small saucepan and cook, stirring often, over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Stir in vanilla extract. Add blueberries and chocolate chips to oat mixture; stir well. Pour brown sugar mixture over top and stir until blended. Spread oat mixture into prepared baking sheet and press into an even layer. Bake at 300˚ for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, then, using a chef’s knife, cut into 2x3-inch bars.
Per bar:  186 calories; 6 g fat (1g sat.);  4 g protein; 32 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 51 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol


Friday, March 16, 2012

News on the Farm

In the last few weeks the crew had been transplanting strawberries and raspberries. They have also been finishing up with pruning the blueberries.
If you would like to keep updated on whats going on here at the farm, visit the Homepage and sign up for our monthly newsletter. Its a great way to get deals and specials on our products as well.
Keep in mind with spring coming soon it will be warming up. Make sure you get the Chocolate Blueberry Clusters while we have them, as of April 20th, they will no longer be online until next fall.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blueberry-Lemon Tea Cakes

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from four lemons)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups SVO blueberries

1. Pre-heat oven to 355 grease. Butter a 2.5 x 4" baking pan, and dusted with flour, tapping out excess.
2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, erring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and serve as thickened, about 4 min. Let stand while making cakes.
3. Meanwhile, combine heavy cream, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another bowl.
4. Beat butter, lemon zest, and remaining cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add eggs, one at a time, the well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in three editions, alternating with cream mixture, beating and ending with flour. Gently fold in the berries using a rubber spatula.
5. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a tooth pick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 30 min.
6. Transfer pans to wire racks, and brush tops pancake with lemon syrup. Let stand for 15 min. Turnout cakes from pans, and brush all over the with remaining syrup. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mummy Berry Interview With Bob

Last week’s blog was about how the mummy berry is a very destructive disease that can affect most species of blueberries. Berries attacked by the fungus are called mummies because they look like mummified berries. This week I interviewed Bob and asked him what he thought about the mummy berry, and if this disease ever affected his farming.  While interviewing Bob I learned that he did have a problem in the past with mummy berry. Bob was able to keep it under control and diminish the problem by using biological practices, such as compost tea, minerals, and inoculums.  Mummy berry starts affecting the blueberry plants in late March, depending on the year. Mummy berry spreads by spores in the air. The most common cause of this disease is a cool damp spring when the plants either has a shortage of, or an imbalance of minerals.  Bob says the best ways to avoid the mummy berry is the keep the plants healthy with minerals and keep the soil active with aerobic biology.
“From a biological view, diseases and insect infestation is a manifestation of a lack of a proper balance of minerals in the plant” said Bob. 

Mummy Berry On Right Side