Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Green Meadows Farm - Blueberry & Lemon Sweet Tea

Ahhh, blueberry season. A great time of year to welcome summer by picking your own berries. Blueberries are wonderful since they are not overly sweet and can be center stage or compliment any type of dish, sweet or savory.

Blueberries are one of the best antioxidant raw fruits with an abundance of different nutrients that can help the body fight free radicals, maintain healthy brain function, and maintain a healthy digestive system, including preventing cancer.

To enjoy all the healthy, and tasty, benefits blueberries have to offer, it's essential to find a trusted source. Luckily, an organic farm is only a short drive away from my town, where I can pick to my heart's content.

The season was a little late this year compared to last, but the blueberries were out in full force. The bushes were overflowing with blueberries and they have been as delicious as ever. The berries were so plentiful this year, each time I was able to get pounds from any bush I chose. Their farm is so clean and vibrant in the full sun. No bugs to bother me while I'm picking and just the sound of the wind washing over the trees. Once I got the berries home, I've even been sneaking some straight from the freezer since they have the consistency of sorbet that way.

I went three weekends this year and was able to get to know my farmers better each time. The Greens' have been farming organic blueberries for just under a decade and love what they do. Both are quite knowledgeable about organic farming and foods, and were happy to talk to me more about their farm.

The Greens' are so sweet and value enlightening their customers about the health benefits of blueberries and the organic practices of their farm. Delores knows her farm well and can point you in the right direction in the field to get the best berries. It was a pleasure speaking with her and hearing stories of introducing people to organic berries. The Greens' love seeing families come to pick berries so younger generations can learn the value of where their food comes from. Ronny takes pride in the work they put into the fields to keep chemicals from their land. He has stories that go way back in their family history and knows the ins and outs of farming. It's great to see a couple putting effort into keeping traditional practices alive, even if the work can be difficult.

Green Meadows Farm, named after their family and the beautiful land, has its organic certification from the USDA which doesn't come cheap. In fact, the price has skyrocketed in the past few years. They are aware of many farmers who grow organic products and would love to market them as such, but cannot afford to pay the government for certification. The ability to maintain this status requires diligent work to keep thorough records of sales, blueberry quantities, and preparation for inspections. A pound of their juicy blueberries is only $3.25. Comparatively, in local organic stores, 6-8 oz of blueberries sells for $5 to $6. Plus, the Greens' allow you to eat blueberries for free while out picking in the field, which allows their customers to try their product directly from its source and get a tasty snack in the process.

While they have been approached by corporations to sell their crop for commercial purposes, the Greens' prefer to allow locals to enjoy the benefits of organic blueberries directly. I am very thankful for their dedication to a local, sustainable, organic product and hope they are able to continue providing their blueberries for years to come to the surrounding communities. The Greens' enjoy meeting their customers directly to talk about their blueberries, share recipes, and share the happiness of providing blueberries and other connections to local, organic farms.

In fact, a past customer shared with Delores a recipe for blueberry sweet tea, which she has tweaked and made her own. A pitcher of this sweet, refreshing tea awaits after returning from picking in the warm field. She graciously shared the recipe with me, which I highly encourage you to make. Even for the South, it's a unique tea that wins rave reviews. So be sure to find a local farm to enjoy the benefits of local produce and the chance to get to know your farmers. Plus this tea will entice and hold you over while you look.

Blueberry & Lemon Sweet Tea
7 cups water, separated
2 family size tea bags (or 6-8 regular size tea bags)
1/2 cup turbinado
1/2 cup blueberries, puréed
1 can frozen organic lemonade concentrate
1 lemon, sliced

Boil 3 cups of water and steep the tea bags for 10 min. Discard the tea bags and add the turbinado and puréed blueberries, stirring well. Add lemonade concentrate and stir until combined. Add the remaining 4 cups of water and lemon slices. Chill before serving.

~Yields 9 cups.

~Recipe by Delores Green.


  1. what a refreshing tea sounds perfect for all year round!

  2. wonderful,i want a cup of tea!

  3. I so love blueberries...Great tea recipe:)