Berrying in the Far Northern Catskills
July is peak berry season in the valley of Schoharie Creek, which runs north from Great Gorge to the town of Schoharie, New York, a distance of about 20 miles. As the rocky creek meanders and burbles through the valley between two undulating ridges, it is flanked by rich agricultural tableland, and some of the prettiest produce stands in the state are planted along the road.
The first tomatoes are starting to come in, but mainly because they were started in greenhouses by some of the more sophisticated farming operations. At one stand, we spot fairy-tale eggplants (a small, elongated, lavender variety) and cauliflowers as big as punch bowls. Berries of one sort or another are ripe during all of July and August, and this weekend, the summer raspberries and bush blueberries were ripe, with yellow raspberries just starting to come in.
A berrying pal and I attacked the blueberry bushes at Bohringer's Fruit Farm in Fultonham, New York. The bushes are situated just below the stone outcropping and cliffs known as Vroman's Nose, making for some spectacular picking, scenery-wise. We each picked a quart of blueberries. They tend to be smaller, sweeter, and covered with a thicker white blush than the ones found in the Union Square Greenmarket, which come mainly from Jersey. Put on ice cream or in buttermilk pancakes, these small sweet blueberries are unrivaled.