Food, Travel

My Sunflower and Blueberry Picking Experience – A fun Summer Day

This weekend my husband and I decided to do something different, something that screams summer while exploring the outdoors and maintaining social distancing. We decided to explore the Sunflower Picking and Blueberry Picking at Tangerini’s Farm.

Approximately 30 minutes from Boston located in Millis, Massachussets this beautiful 60+ acres of farm land currently has the option to pick your own Sunflowers, Blueberries and Wild Flowers. We opted to pick our own Sunflowers which are often associated with the carefree days of summer and the plump, juicy and sweet blueberries straight from the farm.

We made our reservations for UPick a day prior and selected our time slot of 3.00 pm for Sunflower Picking and 4.30 pm for Blueberry Picking. Due to the pandemic it is essential to make an online reservation ahead of time. They usually open up bookings one to two days at a time and all the bookings are live. There is free parking available at the farms. Here is a link to the farms where you can check the schedule and make a reservation.

As we walked towards the fields they had placed disposable masks and sanitizers for anyone who needs it just outside the farm stand. As soon as we entered the fields we checked ourselves in with a staff member sitting under a tent at the bottom of the hill. when you are checked in you will be asked to wash your hands with soap and sanitize them too just before you enter the farms. Since we were doing sunflower picking first we were also handed sanitized clippers to select and cut the sunflowers of our choice.

You have the option to pick from one, three and seven stems each while making a reservation. We had selected picking three sunflower stems each.

We headed into the fields to explore the beautiful happy sunflowers – A feast to the eyes! After all how can you not smile when you see something like this. It is indeed a bountiful display of bright cheery yellow something I love. We handpicked our own sunflowers using the clippers provided to take back home to make our own flower arrangement. Remember to carry a bucket of water with you to keep the flowers fresh till you reach home.

There is also an option to do a professional photo shoot at the sunflower fields. Also, there next sunflower fields will be ready on August 1, 2020 in time for the next weekend.

Once we were done with picking our own sunflowers we checked ourselves in again to return the clippers and to pick our own blueberries. They gave us a pint each to collect our blueberries. Currently as the fields were not having UPicks at capacity they are happy to accommodate you a little earlier too if you have a reservation for multiple picks and get done earlier from one a little before time for your next reservation.

We walked in to our assigned rows and started foraging for ripe and plump blueberries. Packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium blueberries are one of the most popular fruits here as they are also native to North America. The best thing about blueberries is they can be enjoyed in multiple ways such as pancakes, jams, jellies, pies, muffins, salads, cobblers, smoothies, ice creams, tarts, on their own and so much more. The options are unlimited.

We started filling our respective pints by handpicking our own blueberries and we picked up some really big blueberries. A tip to pick the best sweet blueberries is to check that the blueberry is deep blue even near the stem and not red or green near the stem.

Once we were done picking our own blueberries we headed to the Ice Cream Shop and got the Purple Cow (Blackberries, White chocolate and Dark Chocolate) and Watermelon Sherbet icecreams. After all what beats the summer heat better than an Ice cream.

Before we left to go home, we visited the farm stand and also got some amazing farm produce like sweetcorn, lettuce, spring onions (the biggest I have ever seen till date), blackberries, mini carrots, and a few unique soda drinks. All the produce was so fresh.

We were wearing masks the entire time but got extremely lucky as we were alone in the fields for sometime and just for a split second removed the mask and got a couple pictures.

All in all a great way to enjoy the outdoors and a fun experience! And the best thing is it is something that can be enjoyed with the whole family, friends or even by yourself.

Travel

My Apple Picking Experience – A Fun Fall Day

When I think of Fall I think of Apple Picking. The abundance of apples is the welcome sign of the fall. Whether it’s with family, friends or your significant other, it’s easy to spend a full day at the orchard, and it’s the perfect excuse to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather. This weekend my husband and I went apple picking at the Tougas Family Farms in Massachusets and had a fun experience.

We started the experience at 1.30 pm with eating some apple cider donuts and having apple cider both made freshly from the farm picked apples at the Tougas Farms. We then took the private wagon ride to drive around the beautiful orchard gazing at the various apple produce with the wind blowing in the air. We had gone for a private event arranged by my husbands office however you can go there by yourself too.

We then headed to go apple picking which was so much fun. The farm we went to had different types of apples – Honeycrisp, Cortland, Gala, McIntosh and Mutsu and the staff at the farms made us aware of all the differences between them and how they are best enjoyed.

We went around the various rows trying different types of apples and deciding which ones we liked over the others and ended up picking a mix of the apples we liked. We ate like 4 apples just as we were picking out apples.

Some of the apples we tried and picked were :
1)Honeycrisp – Mostly red skin, crisp, tart and sweet. They hold very well in baked goods but also taste delicious when eaten raw.
2)Cortland – Mostly red-skinned but taste much better when baked rather than eaten raw.
3)Gala – Compared to the Honeycrisp or Cortland apples these are smaller in size, red skin but taste better when eaten raw compared to when baked.
4)McIntosh – These apples are tender, sweet and have a red and green skin. They can be used for both baking as well as eaten raw but taste even better when baked.
5)Mutsu – They have green-yellow skin, not very tart and have a creamy texture. They work great with pies.

Once we finished picking the apples we sat in our tent and ate some apple crisps and apple pie and sipped on apple cider. Ohh yeah it was an Apple day after all.

The farm also has various farm animals around whom you can feed, playground for kids, farm stores where you can buy a lot of fresh goodies made out of the fresh fruits grown on the farms such as jams, jellies, fresh fruits, apple cider donuts, apple pie, apple crisps, apple pie ice cream, taffy apple and so much more.

All in all a great fun activity to do for the whole family.