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.

Beer mugs stand on a wooden counter by a softly lit window.
Feb 21 2024 @ 3:30 pm
Hot Plate Brewing Co. will celebrate the 10×10 Festival with 10 small batches of beer — today with bingo to benefit Roots Rising and the Pittsfield Farmers Market.
A blueberry muffin glistens with sugar at Dottie's Coffee Lounge.
Feb 22 2024 @ 12:00 am
Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will host Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week along with the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival.
Beer mugs catch the light on a dark wood table. Creative Commons courtesy photo
Feb 22 2024 @ 3:00 pm
Hot Plate Brewing Co. will celebrate the 10×10 Festival with 10 small batches of beer — today with tarot, jewelry and metaphysical celebrations.

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.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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