We went to the berry farm
As other people do,
To pick the ripe blueberries
And also eat a few,
To see the berries green and blue
Covered with the morning dew.
We just finished using the blueberries from 2017 – baked in blueberry muffins and blueberry cake and used in pancakes. Now the supply that was picked in 2018 (at least 17 quarts are in the freezer) will diminish with each passing week. So, as this year’s crop of blueberries ripens it was time to take bucket in hand and get to picking.
Years ago we visited timber sales that had been cut a couple of years earlier to pick early low blueberries, the sweetest blueberries of all. But those plants seldom get to be a foot tall and aging backs and knees can’t tolerate enough bending over to glean a year’s worth of fruit.
Some wetlands on the Allegheny Plateau have significant quantities of one of several species of highbush blueberries so we’ve picked there as well. One such wetland we visited a number of years ago had so many piles of bear dung that it must have been a major feeding site for black bears when the berries were ripe.
In recent years we’ve picked blueberries at a nearby berry farm where a few hours of picking yields a year’s supply of the delicious fruit. The farm grows strawberries, which our daughter picks for us (those aging backs and knees you know), as well as raspberries and blackberries. But, for me, it’s the blueberries that are the real attraction.
Row upon row of blueberries stretch across the fields –
|From Google Earth
We try to arrive early, before the heat of the day, when the fruit is still dew-covered –
And pluck the ripe berries from among the still green fruit that will ripen over the next few days –
As we were leaving the berry farm we ran into an old friend who’d been picking since 6:00 am and had five gallons of blueberries – that’s a man who loves blueberries.
We’d not been there that long and had but four gallons (16 quarts) in one large and two small pails –
Love those blueberries –