Two days of torrential rain in Berlin really and truly put the fear of winter into me. I had flashbacks of being trapped in doors for weeks. So on Saturday morning I resolved two things:1. To go on-line and look for flights to Miami.
2. Get out of the flat and out of Berlin for the day.Off we went to a pick your own (selbst pflücken) place Luisa had recommended in Klaistow.
What a place! I’ve never seen anything quite like this in Europe. They’ve made an amusement park out of it. With giant bouncy domes; enough sand pits to shoot the next Pirates of the Caribbean; a petting zoo; boars; rams; a tree climbing area, complete with hard hats and ropes (Climb Up).
I didn’t find any blueberry toys or asparagus pens but there were strawberry bear statues and strawberry seats. In their store, they sold blueberry everything: jams, jellies, liqueurs and candies.Buschmann-Winkelmann runs events from April through to December. White asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, corn and pumpkins feature as highlights throughout the year.
On the 27th of August there is even a Line Dancing workshop (15:30 – 17:30 taught Enrico Adler, the 2007 Line Dancing Champion, yes, apparently there is such a thing.) followed by a Country Feast of barbecue with spare ribs and all the fixings. I can’t even conceive how such an event, organized by some German folk from the country would go…but I can imagine it being a good laugh.I had a bratwurst that was so hard the plastic fork I was using shattered upon penetration. My husband bought a blueberry ‘custard’ made up from that instant stuff they love so much here, similar to Bird’s Custard in the UK. The goulash used frozen vegetables, stock cubes and was scarce on the meat, which when you found it was tough. This is no boutique farm with obscure vegetables and fruit, similarly, the food is canteen style fare. But you come out here to get some mud on your shoes and clear your head.When I said I was ready to start picking, my husband; ever the city man squawked: “Why do you want to pick them? They sell them already picked!” It’s true, they sell blueberry punnets for €7.20/kg or you can pick your own for €4.60/kg. Their berry of choice is the Duke Blueberry which produces thick clusters of large, grape sized fruit. It’s entirely lost on him that picking the fruit yourself is the entire point of driving out of Berlin for 45 minutes.
Layla took her task of picking only blue or purple fruit very seriously and we spent a happy 45 minutes collecting 2 kg of fruit at a leisurely pace, while my husband sat on a bench pointing his blackberry, phone not fruit, at various points on the horizon: trying and failing to get a signal.I made blueberry pancakes on Sunday morning and Luisa has advised me to freeze some fruit for the winter, in case I don’t make it to Miami. I’m tempted to try Mark Bittman’s Fast Blueberry Jam although with so little sugar, I don’t expect it will keep for very long but maybe that’s the point.
Spargel und Erlebnishof
Glindower Strasse 28
T. 033 2066 1070