Saturday, July 02, 2016

Zen and the art of picking blueberries

I got out before the birds this morning to pick blueberries while the temps were still bearable. The crop of blue gold has been abundant this year. This is not always the case because the fickle weather can take its toll on the harvest, so we've picked diligently and our freezer is full of them.

There's an art to picking blueberries. Standing in front of a head-high bush, I pick all the berries on one limb before moving to another. But the instant you move to another vantage point, you see dozens hiding behind limbs and leaves.

By the time you make it around a bush, you feel as if some ripened during your journey. It used to frustrate me, but these days I consider it a form of meditation. Pick a while and then squat to get a different perspective. It's almost therapeutic. Perhaps I should write a book entitled Zen and the art of picking blueberries.

We now have a dozen bushes but I plan to plant another dozen this fall. We plan to barter with our local produce market. After we've filled our freezer, we'll let the stand sell our blueberries for credits toward buying cantaloupe and watermelon.

Y'all have a safe and happy Fourth of July.


  1. Rick, I would totally love having a blueberry bush... I have picked them here in Nova Scotia but unfortunately not too many in the city ... I would pick lots and freeze them too... xox

  2. Shoot! I love blueberries and have to buy them at the store.

  3. I would love a blueberry bush! Would one produce enough for me?

    1. I'd get a couple for cross-pollination. But a couple healthy bushes would produce a lot of berries. They are really a good shrub to have because they look good year around. They do need a good bit of sunlight. And, they want pine bark mulch around the roots.

    2. Lisa, I don't know where you are, but here in NC the Tifblue variety is an excellent variety. It will self-pollinate, but having another variety for cross-pollination will increase the production. (Premier is another variety I like, but my Premier bushes died. I am not fond of the Delight variety.) Tifblue is the standard here.
      I second Rick's recommendations for a good bit of sun and pine bark mulch.
      (Or, as I did, use well rotted sawdust to amend to soil in the planting hole and mulch with pinestraw. My mother has bushes that produce a tremendous amount. She has a clay soil and doesn't mulch at all. Her bushes get some shade from the late afternoon.)

  4. Bartering is almost a lost art. It is a wonderful way to benefit both parties.

  5. Blueberries are ranked as one of the healthiest foods, with benefits for brain functions. Good for you to be able to grow them, pick them fresh and probably enjoy them year round!

  6. Blue gold for sure ! How wonderful to have your very own to enjoy.

  7. You are lucky to have this blueberry bush. Love the picture with the bright blue. We had strawberries growing wild in a ditch and raspberries. You are right about it being a form of meditation. I enjoyed picking them

  8. I always heard of picking blue berries. Having met folks in Maine I was surprised, they 'rake' the wild blueberries. They use a contraption with raking fingers and it feeds a small trough to a receptacle. They demonstrated it, but it must not work on bushes, nobody south uses anyting like that. I never picked blue berries. I am a blackberry kinda guy (or was). LOL

    Keep picking the healthy fruit!


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