Stuff and Nonsense: Around Connecticut: Raspberry Picking at Lyman Orchards


7.02.2019

Around Connecticut: Raspberry Picking at Lyman Orchards



Early last Saturday morning, before the sun burned off the clouds and the temperatures hit stayintheairconditioning numbers, I went raspberry picking. At Lyman Orchards, again, because I couldn't find another farm with raspberries ready to pick. The spring was, for the most part, rainy and cool which slowed the growth of some crops. In some ways this is a boon -- while Lyman's strawberries have come and gone, my CSA which is 40-ish miles north, has just begun picking. But if you want to go raspberry picking right now, there isn't much choice in farms.


While Lyman Orchards is a large farm -- 1,100 acres -- staff does a great job with directional signage and I've had no problem finding the fields I needed. The strawberry fields were quite close to the entrance to South Road, but the raspberries were a bit further afield on Powder Hill Road and that was fine as it was a beautiful morning, I was in no rush, and the additional distance gave me more things to look at -- many fruit trees, netted bushes that might have been blueberry, a pond, etc.

Parking is available in a dirt lot located to the left of the raspberry fields and visitors can pick up containers or trays at the little red shed located between the parking lot and the field. For the 2019 season, Lyman Orchards' raspberries are $5.65 per pound. The small green containers are free and the large trays are $1.75, but (as with the strawberries), the tray is free if you pick 10 pounds or more. Visitors are welcome to bring their own containers and I brought a duct tape reinforced box lid which the staff member at the shack weighed and noted before I began picking.

The rows were well groomed and orderly with lots of straw thrown down on the ground between them, which turned out to be a godsend as I spent most of my picking time on the ground, looking up through the raspberries leaves at all the beautiful deep-red clusters of berries waiting to be picked. Many people around me were going along, picking whatever they could see at the top, but I just found it a lot faster and easier to pick from the middle and bottom.

I picked five pounds in just over an hour, by which time the sun had come out and begun baking my brain. I paid up, drove home, and made jam.

More about jam later.

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