Last night I went to Nevada, Iowa to pick blueberries and red currants at Berry Patch Farm. This little adventure brought back memories of picking strawberries when I was young. My mom would let me bring my friend Megan and we’d head to Strawberry Acres in Waukon. I’m pretty sure Megan and I would sample more berries than we should have but that was all the fun. When we’d get home my mom would make a lot of strawberry jam and freeze the rest of the berries for a winter treat.
While strawberry season is long gone in Iowa, it is prime blueberry and red currant picking season! I’m not sure why I had never thought of going to pick my own berries in the past but it was well worth the 30-minute drive. I had never been to a blueberry farm before and was shocked to learn how many blueberries they had! One of the farmers told me that they planted 12,000 (yes, that’s twelve-thousand) blueberry bushes by hand over the years. I’m pretty sure that’s enough blueberries to really make Violet Beauregarde’s skin turn blue!
So I came home with my goods and will definitely be going back once the second crop of red raspberries comes in this fall. Now my question to you is this: what should I do with all these red currants? I plan on freezing half of them but want to use several while they’re fresh. So far I’ve made red currant muffins, put some in a salad, added some to my favorite buckwheat pancakes, and made a yogurt parfait. All of those treats were delicious and the currants were not too bitter at all. I’d like to do a chutney or make jam with the others so if you have a recipe to share, please post below!
If you can’t make it out to their farm, although I highly encourage you to try, they are part of the Iowa Food Cooperative and they also sell at the Des Moines Farmers’ Market! What’s your favorite summer berry? Do tell!