Even with the 2nd round of hotter than usual weather beating down upon us, we were one of the courageous few to brave the heat at an organic farm that I recently discovered. The concept of pick-your-own, U-pick, or self-service as it’s called at Cascina Peliza (southwest of Bergamo) has yet to catch on here and I can only hope that the possibility to get fresh fruit from the source will grow to become a favorite pastime like it is in the states. We are spoiled by the availability of excellent produce at the fruttivendolo (greengrocer) and weekly produce markets, so why pick your own?
Because it’s fun, and for people like us who love the idea of organically-grown fruit, it’s like a kid in a candy store. Look at all those berries! Why aren’t there more people?!? We had a blast berry-picking for 2 Sundays in a row. This past Sunday we hit the blackberry bushes big time and brought home nearly 8 pounds. The more you pick, the lower the prices went, and the bushes were of a thornless variety. The Sunday before last, there was a melon sagra at the farm and we got what was left of the blueberries and also some raspberries. I froze a third of the blackberries, baked another third in a tart, and the rest will disappear soon enough because they’re so good in everything from fruit salad to smoothies.