Monday, August 22, 2011

Russell Orchards - Ipswich, MA

Sunday was a beautiful day outside! While there would be some cooking indoors, there's no better way to spend a day than collecting provisions at a nearby farm. Knowing that Russell Orchards, in beautiful Ipswich Massachusetts, was opening it's blackberry patches for pick your own, my bigger half and I headed up the coast to spend a day in the sunshine, mingling with some pretty feisty farm animals, and of course, grabbing a pint each of plump, luscious, tart, and stain-your-clothes juicy blackberries.
After paying the lady at the little stand by the pick your own section of the farm three dollars per container for our blackberries, we headed up the dirt road to the blackberry patch. These blackberries were gorgeous. While some were not yet ripe, showing a vibrant red, versus the deep indigo black hue from which these fruits derive their name, it only added to the fun of delving in each bush and trying to find the plumpest, darkest fruits. Blackberries, which I did not know, do not pull quite as easily from the vine as raspberries do. But a little tug will reveal whether or not the berries are ready to be picked. After about twenty minutes of chasing fruit up and down the blackberry bushes, and an encounter with a family of pheasants that seemed to be meandering among the brush, our pints were full.
Now the enjoyment of Russell Orchards does not end with the pick your own. You can also take pleasure in walking around and petting a few of the animals. There's a very surly hog, which it seems spends much of it's time caked in dirt and taking a load off in his pen. A large sign by the pen warns that the pig bites. Yes, pigs bite. They know that you like bacon. I've been lunged at by a friend's hog in the past. You've been warned. 
There's also a lovely little pony, which was so eager to grab the longer bits of grass that he had not yet nibbled at outside of the fence. This was a very cute little pony, as you can see from the photo. Additionally, a whole flock of different breeds of chickens were scattered around the chicken coup, along with quite a few friendly Nubian goats, and a sheep or two. 
The star of the different animals on the farm, in my humble opinion, was this huge Maine Coon, lazily enjoying the pats and caresses of different farm visitors from inside of the farm store. He had huge paws, and a little motorboat purr, as he relaxed in his wooden rocking chair from behind the wine tasting booth. While at the farm store, you may want to check out a little chilled room of other vegetables they offer at the farm, then there's also the wine tasting area where you can try a variety of fruit wines that they make at the farm, the favorite of which is actually not a wine, but a non-carbonated hard cider, very refreshing when chilled on a hot day. There are some little knickknack souvenirs, and an offering of the farm's own house-made vinegars for purchase.
Then there were the donuts. Cider donuts are available for purchase in this little cupboard. Toss with a little cinnamon sugar at home, and boy do you have yourself a treat. But sometimes the moist cake donuts, don't make it all the way home. 
And so ended my day at the farm. Man, I wish I could start every day here.

Russell Orchards
143 Argilla Road
Ipswich, MA 01938

No comments:

Post a Comment