I went to the country to pick blueberries

and all I got was an empty pail.

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Actually, we picked 15 pounds and locked them in our freezer for pancakes, muffins and yogurt.

Strange, I think, that this is one of the hardest hit states in our economy’s downturn, and yet food is going to waste. Cheap, healthy food.
As our own blueberry bushes are still too young to produce the 10 pounds of blueberries that these 56-year-old bushes produce, we searched for a blueberry patch a bit closer to the lake house.

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We found one. The man who owns this firm, Ken, was curious about how we found his place. A tiny ad in the local shopper lead us to his soft rows of grass, interspersed with blueberry bushes, and a stray cat. Ken fears that many of the blueberries will rot on the vine, uneaten by local neighbors that could have stored these in their freezer to save for a drab, dull winter day, when there’s little money left to stretch for milk and eggs. A day that the weary winter soul could use an infusion of last summer’s sunshine.

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Ken helped us pick, dropping the fat, purplish blueberries into our buckets, and telling the kids to go ahead and eat the blueberries off the vine. He never sprays them, and they don’t even need to be washed. I started eating them myself, and remembered how sweet, and delicious they were, and wondered if it was possible, even as fast as we were picking and eating, to reach the end of the supply of blueberries that filled these bushes. There were millions of blueberries, and as much as I loved them, I knew even I couldn’t even make a dent in depleting the supply here. How strange, it was, to turn the tables on the newspapers, and feel nothing but abundance, a limitless supply, for a change.

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I wonder what will happen to this stretch of land that has nurtured blueberries for decades if the trend to ignore primitive country produce continues. As we drive away, we shake our heads and wonder why anyone wouldn’t take the economic advantage of taking an abundant supply of these fresh berries at $1.00, or even $2 a pound if Ken picks, and store them away in the freezer for a cloudy, snowy day.

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4 comments on “I went to the country to pick blueberries
  1. Your pictures are making my mouth drool! This is one of my favorite summertime outings, picking either blueberries or cherries, but our berries were all from farmer’s market this year since we never got a chance to go picking ourselves (my pregnancy & new baby). Also, this year’s cool temperatures pushed the harvesting season for both cherries and blueberries back about a month. That really messed me up when it came to planning a day to go!

    The closest blueberry field to us is $1.60/lb, and you pick and pay completely on the honor system. I love that. I can’t wait until next summer…

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