It is blueberry season and what a glorious season it is. I don’t recall our blueberries ever tasting better than they do this year. They are plump, sweet but not overly so and have a beautifully silky texture.
You’ll find local blueberries at nearly every farmers market, with the Sebastopol Berry Farm providing them at several locations. Swamp Blues attends the Healdsburg market on Saturday and the Windsor Market and Sebastopol Market on Sundays and also operates a farm stand, just off Occidental Rd. where High St. ends in Sebastopol.
White Fox of Freestone had a very early season this year and their organic blueberries are now finished.
One farm attends no farmers markets but warrants attention anyway.
Lorri and Oscar Duckworth bought Nahman’s Dairy, an eighty-acre ranch on Canfield Rd. in southwest Sebastopol, in 2002. The property, now called Duckworth Farm, is part of the Sonoma County Open Space District, which ensures that it will never be subdivided. Additional housing is prohibited, as well, but there are no restrictions on agricultural endeavors.
When the Duckworths first acquired the property, they began growing hay. Soon they added strawberries, which I tasted several years ago. The berries were delicious despite the fact that the soil is not perfectly suited to them.
Three years ago, they switched over to three organic acres of blueberries. The late Bud Nahman helped Lorri Duckworth research blueberries before he passed away; it turns out the land is ideally suited to these berries. A single bite reveals this wisdom.
In addition to blueberries, the farm also has chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep, cows and horses, along with a multitude of pets.
This is the farm’s first big blueberry harvest.
Because taxpayer dollars help support the farm through the Open Space District, Lorri Duckworth feels strongly that her berries should be sold only within Sonoma County. Currently, all three Oliver’s Markets and both Community Markets carry them. You can recognize Duckworth Farm berries by their compostable green pint containers and red cotton nets.
Berries can also be purchased directly from the farm, by weight.
The Duckworths work with a variety of agencies to facilitate access to the farm. A recent tour through LathPaths and for which Lorri Duckworth made blueberry cobbler for all visitors went so well that the farm may be open more frequently throughout the season. Stay tuned for information about open dates.
Lorri Duckworth is especially committed to reaching out to children.
“The journey to teach agriculture to children,” she said, “is exactly the length of their arms. Reach, out pick a berry, put in mouth and they know everything important.”
The farm is a family endeavor, with the Duckworths and their two daughter, Snazzy and Lauren, doing most of the work. Students from WWOOF-USA–Worldwide Opportunity on Organic Farms–also help out each summer during an extended stay.
You’ll find links to blueberry recipes from the Seasonal Pantry archives here.
Duckworth Farm was founded in 2002 by Lorri and Oscar Duckworth. You’ll find their organic blueberries at Oliver’s Markets in Santa Rosa and Cotati and Community Markets in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. To arrange a visit to Duckworth Farm, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lorri Duckworth at 829-7999; because she spends most of her time in the field, she prefers email.