Blueberry-Colored Afternoons at Hokum Rock Farm in Dennis
By: Jessie Gunnard, July 19, 2011
Jessie Gunnard - Fill a pint of blueberries for $3.50 at Hokum Rock Farm.
Nothing says “summer” better than the tell-tale signs of a blueberry-stained grin.
At Hokum Rock Farm in Dennis, there are 1,500 blueberry bushes clustered together under an impressively high tent of bird netting, just waiting for locals to pick them clean.
Never been blueberry picking, you say? Provided you don’t eat them all as you pick, owner Steve Spear estimates you can easily fill a pint container 5-10 minutes. Bring a friend or the kids, spend half an hour plucking away, and you’ll have the makings of some stellar muffins, amazing pancakes, or a classic blueberry pie.
The price is right, too. At $3.50 a pint, you can sock a few cartons away to freeze for later, or stock up to make homemade blueberry jam.
“I like them,” says Spear, who has been growing the juicy blue fruit for the past 15 years. Not only are blueberries delicious, growing the one crop allows him to schedule farm work around his job at the USDA’s Barnstable Field Office of the National Resources Conservation Service.
If you go...
From Route 6: take Exit 9B off Route 6 to Route 134. The farm is at the corner of Hokum Rock Road, East Dennis
Picking is scheduled to start on July 28 but it depends on the berries' ripeness. Call ahead for confirmation:
Pick-your-own blueberries ($3.50 a pint) from mid-July to mid-August
Open Saturday mornings 8 AM to 10 AM, plus one or two other weekdays as the harvest permits. Always check the website or call for latest opening information.
Unlike vegetables and other mixed-crop farms, blueberries are on the same pruning, irrigation, flowering, pollination and harvest schedule. Individual bushes can live for many decades under the right conditions, so there’s also no need to plant every year.
There are five varieties of blueberry at the farm, and their flavor and ripening schedule varies. Once a blueberry turns from green to blue, it still needs a week or so for the sugars inside to develop and the flavor to evolve to the finger-licking tart/sweet balance, says Spear.
Once you park in the field, head over to the shed, pick up some pint containers and a tray, and let loose on the day’s designated rows.
When you’ve had your fill, it’s back to the shed to pay for your harvest, and then you’ll be guided off the farm via a surprising one-way hidden road through the trees and spit out onto Hokum Rock Road.
What’s up with this “hokum,” you ask? Well, Hokum Rock itself is just under a mile down the road if you turn right as you leave the farm. Hokum Rock may (or may not) be the largest rock on Cape Cod dropped when the glacier receded at the end of the last ice age.
In any case, it’s a big rock. Check it out.