Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Stuff re-turn Likes: Lower Notch Berry Farm

Just south of Bristol Village, on the Lower Notch Road, there is a blueberry and raspberry farm run by Al and Linda Lunna with a booming pick-your-own operation. Since Kate and I routinely miss every picking season every summer and thought we had done it again this summer, I was pleased to find Lower Notch on Facebook and hear that they had another 2-3 weeks of blueberry picking ahead of them, even in the middle of August.  We headed down late on Saturday morning.

Austen got his own pail, but we didn't trust him with berries.
I'll admit, before we headed down, I was already biased in favor of this place, since I had both Lunnas as teachers in Junior High and Al was my track and cross-country coach as well. They have since "retired" and now run the berry farm, selling at several local farmer's markets.

We got right down to picking. The first couple of rows had berries deep in the bushes, but the picking was kind of slow going and I wasn't sure if Austen was going to make it long enough in the backpack for us to garner any real sort of haul. Then we turned a corner.
Like Wine Grapes

The row of bushes we happened on were so loaded with berries it looked like bunches of wine grapes on the vine. We filled two pails in about 40 minutes, with me taking frequent breaks to march Austen up and down the rows and into the shade when he got bored or hot.

Our two pails of berries came to over ten pounds and we paid about 27 dollars for those berries.  They keep bees to pollinate the bushes as well, so we bought some blueberry honey.

As we were cashing out, Al came over to say hi and we spent some time catching up and reminiscing about the good old days of running at Mount Abe. Sadly, he said, the cross-country and track programs today are a shadow of what they once were as football and lacrosse have soaked up potential runners at my small alma mater. That's really too bad. Many of my best friends, people I still keep in touch with, are people I ran with back in the day.I attribute my affinity for suffering-based sports (mostly cycling, these days) to Al's workout regimes ("dump hills" for cross-country and interminable 400 meter repeats for track). Perhaps it's time to rally the old gang and start a booster's organization.

Al also pointed out the state-record elm tree, right by the driveway. It's worth checking out all by itself, with a trunk almost 8 feet in diameter. I didn't take a good picture of it.

We had a really nice time and it was good picking. Al told me he put in 17 different varieties of blueberries to ensure a long season, and I can attest that his strategy has worked. I can't imagine these bushes getting picked bare in the next two weeks, so if you haven't gotten out berry picking yet this summer, there's still time and the berries are delicious and abundant.
A Full Pail

Getting there:
1947 Lower Notch Road
Head west out of Bristol on Route 17 and turn left on to Lover's Lane- about 3/4 of a mile later you'll go through the intersection with Hewitt Road and cross the New Haven River. Take a right on to Lower notch Road and follow the signs about 2 miles to the farm, which will be on the right.

Google Maps: