By Alicia Dziak
It’s the height of berry season in Western New York, which means time to stock up on all that fruity goodness. Besides the obvious tastiness of blueberries, the tiny, juicy “superfood” have the highest antioxidants of any fruit, and just one cup provides a good amount of fiber and vitamin C without packing in a lot of calories.
While July is officially National Blueberry Month, there’s still plenty of time left in the season, and many berries are available to be picked locally through late August. Enjoy fresh berries now and get enough to can and freeze so you can enjoy the taste and health benefits all year round.
Burdick Blueberries, located at 8267 Thompson Rd. in Cattaraugus, is a pick-your-own blueberries location on 40 acres of eight highbush varieties with grass rows. This local favorite opened for the season last week, and offers not only u-pick berries, but flowers as well. They are open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call (716) 257-9760 or visit their Facebook page at burdickblueberries.
Other nearby places to check out for fresh berries:
• Awald’s Berry Farm, at 10692 Walnut Ave., North Collins, offers blueberries, and red, black and purple raspberries in u-pick, ready-picked and frozen varieties. Visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/AwaldFarms to see their current selection and pricing.
• Blueberry Ridge, at 12201 Gowanda State Road in Lawtons, is a family-friendly u-pick blueberry farm, which also features ready-picked blueberries at their stand. For more information, call (716) 337-2037.
• Great Valley Berry Patch, located at 5608 Humphrey Rd. in Great Valley, has blueberries, raspberries and peas. Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., please call (716) 945-5221 before you come to check picking availability.
• Pepper’s Blueberry Hill Farm, at 3290 Bear Creek Rd. in Franklinville is open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week. For info, call (716) 307-0903 or (716) 307-5985.
• South Hill Farms Manicured Blueberry Patch, at 9419 South Hill Road in Colden, offers u-Pick and ready-picked blueberries, open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. For more information, visit southhillfarm.com.
• West Falls Blueberries, at 1895 Davis Road in West Falls, follows organic methods and has blueberries and pre-picked produce. Crops are usually available in July, August and September. For more information, call (585) 409-9227.
And just what do you do with all these tasty berries? A simple search online will yield numerous results for pies, crisps, smoothies, jellies and more — the possibilities are endless! They also freeze well for making your blue creations come fall and winter.