One of my favorite places in New England is Timberlane Blueberry Farm in upstate New York. It is located in a little nook off the Caroga Lake road in the Adirondack Mountains, a place I’m proud to call home.
There isn’t much up there frankly other than lakes and mountains, but that’s precisely why you go….to get away from everything and anything that keeps you disconnected from nature. Want to do a walkabout and leave technology and a frantic lifestyle behind? Head to the incredibly unpretentious Adirondack Mountains, a part of the world I give credit to for keeping me grounded regardless of what is thrown my way. You get the idea. I love this place.
What’s special about Timberlane for me of course is its history and the fact that picking my own berries there has been part of tradition with my grandparents since I was 5 years old. Picking them is part of the experience so while you can go there and purchase pints of ’em or buy breads, syrup, or pies, you don’t really experience what is special about the place unless you go into their grounds, get eaten alive by flies and bugs (spray yourself down suck it up; it’s part of it) and pick from a minimum of 3 aisles.
The area is lined with aisles and aisles of bushes and often the ones in the back are less picked so have larger berries and more of them, but not always. It’s worth scouting the place out before you dive into a bush and if you’re going with others, spread out and call to your pals when you’ve found a killer bush so you can share your discovery. Mid-day btw has less flies but it can also be hot if you pick in July or August, so you’ll need to choose your poison.
Mary Cleland, now 75 years old, owns the farm and started it with her husband decades ago. Her husband has since passed and her daughter is now part of the family business where the tradition lives on: the picking, the breads and of course scrumptious pies, which extend beyond blueberry btw. When I was there in mid-July, she had berry berry, rhubarb, strawberry rasberry, peach, pecan and chocolate. Mary is also an artist and on this last trip, I took the time to look through some of her watercolors, acrylics and pottery she has made over the years and even left with one.