One thing that I miss every year now that I'm away at school January through July is blueberry season. It was always one of my favorite times of year -- along with apple cider and maple tapping season. We have blueberry bushes of our own now, but they don't bare enough enough to freeze so we drive three minutes up the road to an Amish-run You-pick blue berry farm.
We put on our belts and our buckets and let loose in the rows and rows of bushes. Because it's usually hot this time of year, we go in the early morning before breakfast and pick as much as we can before it gets too warm.
The rows are so long that I've never actually been able to pick myself to the end of one. My bucket is always full before I reach the end. It's fun to go as a family because we like to talk as we pick. We talk about everything: the harvest, the books we're reading, what we're learning in school, world events, and lots of other things.
There are green berries, purple berries and blue berries.
When our buckets are full we walk back up to the barn where they are weighed and we pay by the pound. We sure picked a lot this year with my aunt and cousin's help. They like to spend a half-month with us every summer and take the fresh produce back out west with them.
After that, we sort them. Ripe berries in this bowl, almost ripe berries in that bowl, and not ripe-at-all-berries in another bowl. The green berries that were accidentally picked get thrown out and the purple berries that still have to ripen are spread out on cookie sheets and laid in the sun for a day before they're bagged ad frozen.
Sorting blueberries with our friends
We use blueberries mostly in our morning fruit smoothies, but we also use them in Icy Jeweled Parfait, muffins and pancakes occasionally. The funny thing is that I don't particularly like blueberries to eat, but I LOVE picking them because I'm with the people I love.