Friday, July 11, 2014

Picnic, West Virginia Style

Wednesday evening all the family gathered for a happy picnic at my brother and sister-in-law's blueberry farm. It's called White Oak Farm:

The first thing you see as you come up the drive is the perfect red barn.
Max and Anne have lived and worked this farm for over twenty years. On a farm, you see some of this ~
And this ~
And lots of this ~
I took along a few teenagers to be helpful preparing for the picnic. Don't they look helpful?
The farm kitchen was picnic central.
On a blueberry farm, one snack is always available.
From the hayloft, you can see the fields of berries, perfectly pruned each winter, perfectly mulched each spring, and netted to protect the precious fruit from birds.

Another field near the barn ~
They also tend a massive garden and sell a bit of that produce as well. Anne and the girls can and freeze much food for the winter. Her baked corn is to die for!
They built one selling shed years ago.
As they grew in popularity they expanded to a second check-out station at the barn.
Two farm kitties welcome you to the barn.
After they've been played with endlessly by little cousins, they snooze in a planter on the porch.
While in the barn, I noticed the lovely filtering light and took a few photos for your enjoyment.

One blueberry bush of several thousand ~
On a beautiful farm, many things look old and settled. Perhaps that's why a farm seems so peaceful to those of us privileged enough to visit, who don't have to actually work there!
They're closed Wednesdays and Sundays.
The large, square farmhouse. Max says he hopes to put on a new roof soon. The old metal roof, as near as he can tell, is 103 years old -- as old as the house.
I've digressed. On to the picnic! And that means FOOD!
My plate:
baked corn, cole slaw, garden beans, homemade pickle relish, cucumber salad, BBQ in the center
 My niece's plate:
loaded hotdog, orange jello salad, garden beans, baked corn, beets
Every vegetable you see there came from their garden. Anne makes the relish herself, and it's a keeper of a recipe.
Peach/blueberry cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert ~
 Watermelon ~
 We set it all up in the selling shed, which is a grand arrangement. They truly have the perfect farm for a family picnic.
 Anne does everything well. The food is fresh and delicious, the atmosphere is calm and pretty, and she even remembers flowers. It helps to have willing, cooperative, well-raised children, and they do.
 Beverages in crockery ~
 Bill and JoAnn may now sit back and enjoy the family fun after their many years of hard labor.
 Two of my wonderful brothers ~
 Mother and daughter ~
 There's a lot of cousin fun happening this week!
 These siblings helped the cats sleep well that night. Here they discuss the intricacies of kitty-cat care.

 This niece is growing so fast -- they all are! Over a year, they shoot up like bean sprouts. As I often say, "That's what happens when you feed them!"
 Here's the eldest of the crowd, napping after supper.
 The turbulent skies and dusky mountains always attract my eye.
 After a while, I noticed that only my parents, Max, and the napping niece were still outdoors. Where did the kids go? What happened to the outdoor games? And why in the world was it so very quiet? Then I went inside, and I found this:
 About a dozen people huddled in front of the computer watching the last minutes of the semi-final match in the World Cup, between Argentina and the Netherlands.  Many nails were being bitten. I walked outside to tell my folks where everyone had disappeared to. As soon as I said "World Cup," Hannah leapt from her berth and ran to the house! She was missing soccer!!!
 Meet the kitty whisperer.
It's been delightful. I must say, visiting my parents provides me with many more perks here in West Virginia than it did in North Carolina. Look at all the family I get to see! And as I told my mother the other day, because they all have their own houses, there no competition for me to have my favorite guest room in her house - yippee!!


  1. What a wonderful farm and I can imagine all of the hard work that goes into taking care of it all, but, the rewards are worth it.

    It is so beautiful there and it looks like everyone had a great time, and such yummy looking food too.

    Can you share Anne's baked corn recipe?

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

  2. que lugar tan encantador! es mi sueño conocer una granja Norteamericana, son preciosas! y admirable su trabajo. abrazos guapa

  3. Simply lovely!

    I have a watermelon recipe from Susan Branch called "watermelon surprise." Slice off your piece of watermelon, spread it with sour cream, and sprinkle it with brown sugar. Susan says the surprise comes when your tastebuds explode. It really, really, really (really!) is good!!!

  4. What a slice of heaven! You must be enjoying yourself immensely and especially in light of that plate of delicious looking food!


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