Fall for Fermentation

by | Oct 14, 2013 | Ben and Lisa | 0 comments

Cleaned, chopped and wrapped in linen for one day with no additional moisture added.

Cleaned, chopped and wrapped in linen for one day with no additional moisture added.Blackberry leaves, fresh harvested

Best wild harvest? Let's say what happens on the roadside, stays on the roadside. There you are, careening down the highway, taking in the roadside floral abundance and you have a wild urge to stop and…

Before the poetry happens, and you stop to pick the bundles of whatever-wildfood-it-is, think about the herbicide that “they” sprayed there in February, in April and again in the blazing heat of summer. Hum. Yes, there is presently a Monet in the burgeoning fall roadside wildflower palette, and a seemingly, redemptive regrowth in frequently plant-annihilated roadside areas…

Enjoy the view, but don't be misled. Roadside harvest is likely unsafe.

There IS however, a lot to learn about what is blooming and maturing in safer wayside wild harvest spots by eyeing roadside happenings. There is some great news in all this talk of herbicide. Plant bounty is multiplied in warmer climates by extended growth windows and resultant, glorious second blooms. In the garden, the English Lavender is saying a last late, hello!

In the South, those prolific, hearty blackberry plants put on additional leaf and cane material in the fall. It is a second wild harvest boon time as these “new shoot” blackberry end leaves are prime for fermentation and tea making. Tea, you say? Yes, and a process not unlike the great tea-making processes of Asia. It is fall, and prime time for slow ferment. Blackberry leaf tea. Toasty, tannic, healing. Have your blackberries and drink their leaf tea, too!

A tea making process

A tea making process

Rolled warm towels are opened on day two to reveal further oxidation of leaf material

Rolled warm towels are opened on day two to reveal further oxidation of leaf material

 

Heavenly!

Sitting on the porch that is the definition of home-grown comfort, Amy brought out a dish of pecans to snack on with our lavender iced tea. The pecans were sweet with a hint of salt and ... smoked! (Patrick throws a lot of stuff on the grill and in the smoker and the results are always spectacular.) The pecans were like heaven.

Between the lavender everywhere, the porch, the view, the company, and the pecans, we might just as well have been in heaven.

Jan Perry

You'll want to go back again and again!

Among the gardens and 100-year-old farm house is a picturesque red barn where Amy and Patrick not only sell their merchandise but also entertain and/or put on workshops. I have had the pleasure of attending several of these events ranging from cookie making, to lavender harvesting and arranging, to yoga classes.

I am always looking for what they have available because once you experience the sheer beauty and peaceful feel of White Hills Farm you too will want to go back again and again.

Audrey Doyle

For me, it's a place tied to fond memories

White Hills Farm is the perfect backdrop for any occasion -- it has this way of enveloping and elevating meaningful celebrations. For me, it's a place tied to fond memories and an eagerness to return. Year round, its something to behold, a slice of heaven run by the best of people.

Allison Vrtachnik