Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Picking Blueberries in July

July is the month for pick-your-own blueberries in PA, zone 5.
July is the month for pick-your-own blueberries in PA, zone 5.
Picking blueberries in July is a summer tradition at our house. Usually just after Independence Day (July 4th) we make our first trip out to the local blueberry fields with more trips to follow; once a week for three to four consecutive weeks. This year, all of the berries were ripe nearly at the same time and we made two trips in one week, bringing home over 18 quarts of blueberries! Hint: Picking goes much faster with two milk jug buckets tied on your waist at the same time.


And on the good trips I remember to throw in my camera to catch the cute moments that occur when the kids are getting into the picking (or eating as it may be...) My oldest is starting to be a truly productive picker and she was delighting in the half jug that she picked all by herself! I remember when I used to bring her along in the baby carrier. :) Brightly colored shirts (and maybe bells on their shoes!!) help to keep track of the littlest kids.

At home we have had blueberry pie, these yummy blueberry scones, blueberries on our cereal every morning and a freezer bulging with blueberries. They are so yummy straight out of the freezer - like summer candy!

Watch out for signs like this one in your area. And borrow or bring your own milk jug with the top cut out. Empty it into a larger bucket as you go.
Watch out for signs like this one in your area. And borrow or bring your own milk jug with the top cut out. Empty it into a larger bucket as you go.
Not all blueberry varieties are equal. Ask the owner or walk around yourself to find the bushes with larger, sweeter berries. Some can be as big as a quarter! Let them sit on the counter in the kitchen at home for a half day to sweeten up even more, especially if they are blue but very firm.  Then wash (the hard part!) and freeze or refrigerate and eat them fresh that week.
Not all blueberry varieties are equal. Ask the owner or walk around yourself to find the bushes with larger, sweeter berries. Some can be as big as a quarter! Let them sit on the counter in the kitchen at home for a half day to sweeten up even more, especially if they are blue but very firm.  Then wash (the hard part!) and freeze or refrigerate and eat them fresh that week.
My kids and our friend out in the blueberry rows. Picking in the morning or on an overcast day is much more enjoyable because it is cooler. Take water for everyone, and enjoy the outing! We always pay at the farm market (owners) afterwards and grab our other produce for the week... and maybe some other treats!
My kids and our friend out in the blueberry rows. Picking in the morning or on an overcast day is much more enjoyable because it is cooler. Take water for everyone, and enjoy the outing! We always pay at the farm market (owners) afterwards and grab our other produce for the week... and maybe some other treats!

12 comments:

  1. I remember doing this as a child. Now, we just have to walk out in our backyard to pick them which is lovely! Looks like your kiddos had lots of fun!

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  2. Nice photo, but it's strange to see those high bushes of blueberries. Here in North we pick up blueberries too, the bushes are small, their height is not bigger than 15 cm (7 inches), the berries are large!

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    1. I suppose that would make keeping track of the kids easier! Highbush blueberries are quite a treat to pick from.
      ~Julie

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  3. My friends grow their own on small bushes in pots on the patio, not enough to freeze but very special on their breakfast cereal.

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  4. Your post gave me a real pang of memory. We also would drive out to pick blueberries when the kids were small. In our case, we went to SW Michigan, about a three hour drive. There was a beach where we camped. There was something so relaxing and satisfying about the whole experience. It always put all of us in a good mood. When we got home we would make blueberry jam.

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  5. We are picking blueberries in Maine right now and what a crop---raspberries too.

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  6. nice photo your kids !! greatings.

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  7. I adore blueberries anyway I can especially frozen...mine were fires in the drought but I really should go picking. Cute pickers there!!

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  8. Yum! I absolutely love Blueberries...and Cherries and Black Raspberries and Strawberries and... all berries, especially fresh, organic ones. The picture of your kids is so cute! I used to take my kids Strawberry picking--now they always seem too busy to go along. We usually get our Blueberries from Michigan--from relatives who live and vacation there. They're great frozen, too! Enjoy!

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  9. I love blueberries but they are rarely available in Italian shops, in the UK I could buy them all year. My soil isn't acid enough to grow them so I will have to 'virtually' eat some of yours. Your kids will remember doing this all their lives, I have very happy memories of picking blackberries from the woods when I was a child. Enjoy! Christina

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  10. Alas, I missed the blueberry season this year. The Illinois crop was decimated by the frost and then drought. I am now convinced that I need to grow my own blueberries, starting next year. How I longed for a bucket of blue goodness this year. Treasure it! : )

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