We found a blueberry farm a lot closer than the one we’ve been going to so this evening we went there to pick. All the farms around here have been closed due to the rain but most of them were open again this evening.
We started to leave the house and I told Vince I was wearing my horrible Crocs because I had a feeling it was going to be muddy. We got to the farm and I was dancing along with my bucket. Vince said “You are in your happy place when you’re out in a field, aren’t you?” Yes . . I do love being out where things are growing.
Oh, my . . muddy wasn’t the word for it. I kinda felt like I might need a life jacket. Water was everywhere and mosquitoes about carried me off. Luckily, the bushes were loaded. You could almost stand in one spot and pick left, then pick right and fill up the bucket.
The first blueberry farm we’ve been going to has over 2,000 plants and I think they have better varieties and I think they maintain their rows and bushes better. The one today, besides being much closer, had much more ripe berries on the plants (I think because less people go there – it’s kinda way off the beaten path from the Joplin crowd). The last time we went to the first farm, it took us over two hours and we picked less berries than we did today in about 40 minutes. We left home, drove there, got there, got our buckets, hiked out into the berry plants, picked, came back, weighed our berries and paid for them and were home in 1 hour, 10 minutes.
It’s easy to find a sweet berry at the first farm but everything I tasted today (and it was plenty!) was sour. It’s ok. Sour berries make good baked goods.
According to Vince, he would go back to the first place at the beginning of the season when the berries aren’t terribly picked over. Going this late in the season, there are way more ripe berries at the farm nearer to us.
Of course, every year is different so who knows what next year will bring. I’m sure the berry farmers and orchard owners will hope we don’t have a late freeze this year. That destroyed so much of the fruit and berry crops. Mother Nature rules and there’s not much we can do about it.