News of the Day

Custom Built Harvester is ‘Berry Effective’ in Springfield

by Craig Altschul

The Hingston family of Springfield knows a lot about growing and harvesting summer berries. Their Cherry Hill Farm grows five different kinds of red raspberries, three kinds of black raspberries, two varieties of gooseberries, red, pink of champaign currants, and four kinds of black currants, says the Rutland Herald. Cherries previously were not one of their fruit offerings, although they recently planted some cherry trees to put an end to the inevitable question of “Why no cherries?” While growing berries is not unique, the custom-built harvester is. The machine was made by Peter Hingston from old farming equipment and tools brought over from England, where black currants are more common. They are always adding new products made from their berries, the latest being black currant juice. Future crops include Damson plums and, perhaps, hops for beer. For the present, however, berries come in a variety of “shapes” and sizes. “We freeze them, we puree them, we crush them, we juice them and we sell them whole,” Peter said. Take your pick.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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