By Kristie Snyder,
For Pat Hickey and Karin Dahlander of Hillberry, farming is a family affair. The couple owns a young blueberry farm perched on a beautiful hillside in Berkshire, running it with the help of their parents, children, and friends. This year, for the first time, they are marketing their fresh blueberries in GreenStar's Produce Department.
Neither Pat nor Karin has a farming background (they are both former GreenStar employees — Pat still works a sub shift now and then). But as owners of prime farmland in Berkshire, they knew they wanted to put the land into production. They settled on perennial crops, and a consultation with Cornell Cooperative Extension and soil maps of the area pointed to blueberries as a crop likely to succeed. The idea "felt right," according to Pat — they liked the idea of farming a crop that is less subject to pest and disease pressure than other fruits, and thus well-suited to organic practices. They researched blueberry culture for two years while cover cropping the ground that would receive the plants, and Hillberry was born. (Their ten-year-old daughter Willa contributed the name. "We have berries on a hill!" she said.)
Pat and Karin's four children, Willa, Emmitt, August, and Winter, form an integral part of the farm. Willa and Emmitt help with picking and looking after their younger brothers. ("We have the cutest blueberry pickers," Pat's mother, Carol, pointed out.) On a recent visit to the farm, Willa noticed a plant with some discolored leaves and pointed it out to her father, who suggested it might indicate some sort of mineral deficiency in the soil. "This field is for the kids," Karin said. "It's something to come back to and be able to make an honest living at."
GreenStar has pulled all stonefruit related to the packaging company associated with a possible listeria contamination. We only had a few cases of nectarines from "Sweet 2 Eat". If you have any fruit with a Sweet 2 Eat sticker, please return it to our store for a full refund.
By Joe Romano,
It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician.
— Meryl Streep
For centuries adults have been telling kids to eat healthier foods.
Maybe we should be showing them healthy food, instead. Researchers from Iowa State University conducted a study at a summer camp for children ages 6-12 with diabetes. They used a bright, colorful, rotating digital display that featured an image of a salad. The researchers found that the kid's salad consumption increased by as much as 90 percent!
They were offered all the usual fare, like tacos, sloppy joes, fruits and vegetables; the option of a salad bar was simply added to the menu, along with the attractive signage.
"The cool effect that we found and didn't expect was with boys," said Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State. "It makes sense because boys like video games and interact more with technology. We noticed many boys stopping to look at the display and their behavior seemed to be more influenced by the presence of the display."
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New in Produce
|Local Produce Rolls Deep This Month|
If you're looking to keep your veggie drawer filled with local bounty, this is your month. Fruit, veggies, herbs — it's all here.
September brings the anniversary of Brazil's declaration of independence after centuries of Portuguese rule, the birthdays of legendary boxer "Rocky" Marciano, writer Truman Capote, and American revolutionary Samuel Adams ("I'll have a Samuel Jackson"), and the autumnal equinox. Summer's over ... how short it was. While I will lament the end of summer until it returns again, we can at the very least look forward to the rich and vibrant local harvest that continues on through this most comfortable of months. Stick and Stone Farm brings us delicious heirlooms tomatoes, green beans, and three kales: Red Russian, dino, and curly. We've got local apples — Sansa, Cox Orange Pippin, Pink Pearl, and more; and plums — Castelton, Long John, Fortune — from Black Diamond Farm; plus more veggies from Blue Heron Farm — broccoli, celery, cilantro, garlic, red potatoes, and tomatoes. Here comes fall, "que sera sera."