Picking Blueberries!




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Picking Blueberries! ~ there’s nothing else like it, and at the end of the day you get to decide what to make with your treasure!

My youngest daughter Molly and I pulled into a roadside farm the minute we saw the PYO Blueberries sign.  You have to grab these opportunities when you can, the season for pick-your-own fruits is frustratingly short!  We must have hit this one at a good time, because the farmers said the season should go another two weeks.
It’s a beautiful day today, overnight rain cleared out the heat and humidity and the clouds are glorious against the deep blue sky.  This farm is a little off the beaten track, so the rows of blueberry bushes on the hill was almost empty, save for this little cutie (above) and her family.

Molly and I had differing picking techniques.  She chose to methodically pluck the berries one by one, sampling a few from each bush and deliberately seeking out the deepest, bluest, most delicious looking blueberries.

I, on the other hand, employed a rather professional technique: grab the bunch of berries, which grow in clusters like grapes, and wiggle your fingers gently against the berries.  The ripe fruit will fall into your container while the unripe berries will (hopefully) stay on the bush.  I filled my container in no time but I was happy to wait.

I have no idea what we’ll do with all the blueberries.  We have a pile of perfectly ripe peaches in the kitchen which are next in line for our attention.  Most of these berries may be destined for the freezer.
I’ve heard that you should spread the berries on baking sheets and freeze them solid before putting them in zip lock bags.  The woman at the farm stand said she just puts the unwashed berries in the baggies and straight into the freezer, so I’ll try that.
You can usually find lists of farms that offer pick-your-own fruits and veggies online.  Just one example is Pickyourown.org which lists places state by state, county by county.  I’m now curious what else we can find to pick around here this summer.

Have you done any fruit picking this year?

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5 Comments

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  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    July 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks, Mary. I did end up freezing them on a sheet, first. One question I still have is when they get washed. All the instructions I saw said to freeze berries unwashed. If I try to rinse them before using them they’ll defrost. I think it rained the night before we picked them…maybe they’re clean enough!

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    A thought about freezing berries. The reason most folks freeze the berries before bagging them, is to keep them from sticking together in the bag. It makes baking much easier because nowadays most recipes instruct to keep frozen berries frozen when adding to batters and dough. Thawed berries collapse and bleed and can be unattractive to many. My favorite way to eat blueberries is out of hand. That can’t be beat. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Iain
    July 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Love blueberries – my favourites, after Cherries! When we were living in northern Sweden, they grew wild everywhere around us. Always a delicious feast in season!

  • Reply
    Louise
    July 15, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Oh, those berries look delicious!! I love freshly picked fruit. We have a black raspberry bush in our backyard, and the raspberries have just started to ripen in the past week. We also planted a few blueberry bushes in the spring. There are a few berries on them but I think they won’t really start producing anything until next year.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    July 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I adapted a plum crisp recipe from one of Kathy’s cook books in North Carolina (Barefoot Contessa), to blueberries and it was incredible- will email it to you!