Siri Orchards, located in Angier, North Carolina, is a family-owned holistic* orchard that was born out of a passion for growing good food and giving back to the nature and community.
“We are working on building and raising a multi-fruit orchard. So far we have blueberries, blackberries, apples, pears (Asian and Native ), persimmon, jujube, pomegranates and figs. And we will be adding more exotic fruits,” said orchard Owner Srini Badarinarayana
Siri Orchard’s goal is to grow all their fruits holistically*, the biological way. “We rely more on beneficial plants and beneficial insects. We will not use a spray just because it is labelled organic. We will not spray if we do not have to,” said Srini.
The orchard grows the Navaho variety of blackberry which is the very first erect-growing, thorn-less variety. Not only do blackberries have a mouth-watering taste, they’re also great for your health. Recent research finds eating berries can stave off the cognitive decline and memory loss with age by enjoying 2 or more servings per week. Along with improving your health, there are many other benefits to this plump blue/purple berry:
• Blackberries have just 37 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrate, and 4 grams of fiber in every ½ cup!
• ½ cup provides 100% of the recommended Vitamin C for an adult, as well as providing a large amount of potassium.
• Blackberries have the highest antioxidant contents per serving of any food tested. The content was 5.75 millimoles per serving more than that of other foods, meaning that blackberries may have a positive impact on health, athletic performance, and disease risk.
• Blackberries contain anthocyanin’s, which gives it it’s glossy, dark color, and this powerful phytonutrient that’s been shown to protect the brain from oxidative stress and may even reduce effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
• Blackberries have been found to fight against cancers of the GI tract, such as colon cancer.
(*Holistic farm management avoids using all pesticides and herbicides on the plants as well as the soil the plant grows in, unlike organic farm management which allows for the use of such chemicals on the soil around the plant but not on the plant directly.)
JOIN US for Berry Picking at Siri Orchards on Saturday, July 11 & 18th at 9am.
Blueberries – $3.50 for 1 Pint (approx. 3/4 lb ) or $6 for 1 paper picking container (approx. 1.5 lb). Blackberries- half pint $2 and full pint $4. Containers provided. Cash & checks only as the orchard is not set up for credit/debit cards yet.
When you return home with your sweet treats, see Srini’s tips below on how to take care of your berries before eating. See you there!
Storing & Freezing Blueberries & Blackberries:
- Refrigerate unwashed berries, loosely covered, in a single layer. Heaping them on top of one another can crush the berries. Blueberries store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; Blackberries store for up to 3 days.
- Because berries are so delicate, do not wash them until right before you use them, or they can break down and get mushy.
- Do not rinse under running water because the pressure can crush them. Instead, place the berries in a colander and dip them in a bowl of cold water. Gently swish the colander in the water, then allow the berries to drain.
- After washing carefully spread the berries in a single layer on a tray or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat the berries dry with another paper towel.
It is important to freeze the leftover blackberries quickly after picking due to their short shelf life. To freeze:
- Pour your blackberries into a colander and rinse in cool water. Shake out as much water as possible.
- Remove any stems, leaves or damaged berries. Also remove any under or over-ripe berries.
- Spread the blackberries out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Then, stick the tray in the freezer.
- Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or another freezer-safe container of your choosing. Return them to the freezer.
- To avoid freezer burn, try to use the blackberries within six months. Use your frozen blackberries to make cobbler, jam, smoothies or another tasty blackberry treat