Fresh from Our Farmers: Local blueberries are arriving

The first of the year’s local blueberries are ready for harvest this week and will likely be available at the West End Farmers Market on Sunday.|

The first of the year’s local blueberries are ready for harvest this week and if all goes well will be available at the West End Farmers Market on Sunday.

Nancy Walters of White Fox Farm, located above Freestone Valley, is picking this week and anticipates she will have enough to sell.

The six-acre property has 400 blueberry bushes on three-quarters of an acre, with four varieties, Emerald, Toro, Patriot and Star. The berries, which are certified organic, are big, some as big as cherries, Walters said, juicy and flavorful.

Of the four largest berry farms in western Sonoma County --the others are Sebastopol Berry Farm, Duckworth Farm and Sonoma Swamp Blues-- White Fox blueberries ripen first. Others won’t be ready until sometime in June.

The season comes on fast and harvest is a flurry until it ends, six to eight weeks after it starts. During the season, White Fox Farm’s blueberries are available at Shelton’s Market and Big John’s in Healdsburg and at Community Market in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa as well as at the West End Farmers Market. When the Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market opens on June 5, they’ll be available there, too.

The berries are offered in 6-ounce and 18-ounce containers. This year, Walters expects to sell blueberry jam and blueberry syrup as well, before the season ends.

Walters is passionate about her berries and enjoys talking with customers about how to choose fresh blueberries.

“If all someone has ever tasted are those small dark berries with no flavor,” she said, “I understand why they think they don’t like them.” If you’re among blueberry nay-sayers, she’s eager to change your mind.

Walters also keeps chickens, a flock of about 50 laying hens that produce a rainbow of colored eggs that are available at Bohemian Market in downtown Occidental.

Nancy Walters is a retired veterinarian and former owner of the Occidental Veterinary Hospital and sees similarities between working with animals and farming.

“It’s all about caring,” she said.

And when it comes to her blueberries, it’s about deliciousness, too. For blueberries recipes from the Seasonal Pantry archives, visit “Eat This Now” at

White Fox Farm was founded by Nancy Walters in 2012 and is located off Jonive Road in west Sebastopol. Look for White Fox Farm blueberries from mid-May through late June at the West End Farmers Market and the Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market.

Michele Anna Jordan has written 19 books to date, including the new “More Than Meatballs.” Email Jordan at You’ll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:
  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.