Blueberry Cooperative offers pick-your-own

By Fran Gonzalez | Aug 06, 2019
Courtesy of: Shana Hanson Gary Masalin in the blueberry field he created on the Levenseller Mountain. The Belfast Blueberry Cooperative offers pick-your-own evenings Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

Belfast — In its past lives since 1997, Brighton Cooperative Blueberries and then Belfast Blueberry Cooperative has ebbed and flowed as a certified organic producer of table-grade blueberries for local food stores, restaurants and homes.

In recent years, founder Shana Hanson has gotten busier with livestock and tree leaf fodder (feeding tree leaves to goats for winter fodder), but each August, she helps Gary Masalin  harvest his field on the east end of Levenseller Mountain.

After 16 years of working together and two years of low prices from the freezer plant, Masalin sold the field last fall to Shana.

As of Aug. 1, the reincarnation of "Belfast Blueberry Cooperative" includes pick-your-own evenings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 3 to 7 p.m., along with the cooperative's usual fresh market offerings.

In a cool breeze or shade of the tree line, with a view over Tilden Pond, mentors show customers how to carefully rake and then use a bicycle-powered device for winnowing the unsprayed blueberries.

A woodland walking path will be equipped with a zipline to take the weight of filled buckets for folks entering from the Belfast side. Take Lincolnville Road at the Lincolnville-Belmont town line (where it becomes Greenapple and the pavement changes). Look for signs along the road.

Those with good vehicle clearance and 4-wheel drive can also enter from the Lincolnville side, taking Tucker Brook Road to Masalin Road to Old Belmont Road (all the same road), then bear right before the last driveway at the end of the road and follow signs to the field.

Customers are encouraged to call ahead for directions, prices, and schedule confirmation at 338-3301 (no texts).

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