I don't have a green thumb. My basil plant is barely surviving this summer. When it comes to gardening, I'd be happy to leave that to the professionals. When it comes to eating, we're pros but harvesting was a whole new adventure. We've gone apple picking before and that seemed easy enough; why not try berry picking? Samascott Orchards always has a beautiful farmer's market spread of fruits and veggies. When we heard they did pick your own, it was a chance to put on our foraging hats. Samascott Orchards is only a 30 minute drive to Kinderhook from Albany. Bring your own containers or bags for picking or it'll cost you a quarter for a couple of plastic bags or $0.75 for a cardboard container. Right now blueberries are flourishing and we were happily eating sampling for quality control along the way; they kind of discourage you from not eating before paying. Sweet, plump, and still warm from the sun's kiss; it's so satisfying tasting what Mother Nature has to offer this summer. The best picking method? Cup your hands and pick with your thumbs and a bounty of blueberry jewels will fall into your palm. Sure you can easily stop by the Samascott Garden store on the way down but there's something to be said about working hard for your food. No sweat, no berries. There were still plenty of blueberry bushes awaiting ripening but strawberries and sweet cherries were at a premium and already picked over. We were able to find a handful of strawberries but it was more of a scavenger hunt. J grew up on sour cherries and while most people overlook these rubies, we appreciate its tart flavor and harvested a bucketful for a pie to be. But really all these berries are just as good, if not better, on their own.
A couple hours and a sunburn later, we walked away with $20 worth of blueberries, sour cherries, and strawberries. All the berries were priced at $2.00/pound, with the exception of black raspberries at $5.00/pound which we somehow missed. You can also pick for peas, squash, and cucumbers at $1.25/pound. At weigh-in, you'll find a variety of homemade jams and jellies, cold apple cider, frozen meats, and cider donuts at the farmstand. We decided to end our pick-your-own trip on a sweeter note with a scoop or two of homemade ice cream. We topped scoops of raspberry and peach ice creams with our freshly picked prizes. Delish! As an added bonus, we stopped by Ninepin Cider for a bit of libation. Ninepin uses apples from Samascott for their cider so it was only fitting that we completed the full circle with a tasting and growler to go. This summer is shaping up to be pretty sweet!