Tasting those East Taconic blues — #berkshireweekend

‘Do you know any green flowers?’ she asks — a thoughtful girl gathering a bouquet in the herb garden at Caretaker Farm. She’s looking for all the colors she can find, I think, and I love that question. How about herbs, we say — how about fennel with its tall feathers. How about leaves with distinct shapes and sensitive fern?

How about gathering a bouquet for scent as much as for color? I’m holding snapdragons and sunflowers … Most of the time I let the flowers bloom outside and live their natural lives instead of bringing them home in a mason jar, but these are part of my farm share, and I’m picking savory and oregano and chocolate mint out here already.

And blueberries. Just down the road, Second Drop Farm has just opened for pick-your-own today in Lanesborough. The bushes in the back field have been growing here for generations, and the berries are thick on the branches even after the late frost in May and these weeks of rain. It takes ingenuity to be a farmer in this unbridled weather. The fields by the roadside stand are vivid with zinnias, and the air is sweet with lavender.

These July days feel even rarer than usual, after the waiting, and I want to sink into them while they’re here. The tang of blueberries warm from the sun, sweet corn, pie crust under the rolling pin … I want to hold them as gently as I held the friend’s chicken who pecked my jeans in their garden until I lifted her up to set her on my knees.

Wildflowers bloom along the roadside at Second Drop Farm in Lanesborough.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Wildflowers bloom along the roadside at Second Drop Farm in Lanesborough.

Green beans bloom purple and white and wild chicory shows deep blue in the fields at Caretaker Farm.
A blueberry pie cools on the counter.
Photo by Kate Abbott

A blueberry pie cools on the counter.

Food and events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Plums gleam in purple and gold at a farmers market table.
Sep 28 2023 @ 3:00 pm
The West Stockbridge Farmers Market offers fresh produce — fruits and vegetables in season, eggs, meats and cheeses, breads and baked goods, fudge and jams and more.
A head of garlic rests on a wooden table. Creative Commons courtesy photo.
Sep 29 2023 @ 3:00 pm
The Sheffield Farmers Market returns outdoors with some 20 vendors — from pickles, seasonings and garlic, to Naji’s Mediterranean Cuisine, baked fresh wheat-free breads, local meats, honey and maple syrup and more.
Early summer flowers are in full bloom at the North Adams Farmers Market.
Sep 30 2023 @ 9:00 am
Chocolate peanut butter cookies, fresh flowers, jams and pickles and cheeses ... the North Adams Farmers Market returns weekly with more than a dozen farmers and makers.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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