The next best thing to growing your own blueberries is a you-pick blueberry farm. Here are five reasons to give it a try:
1. Try before you buy. Picking means eating — finding the right couple rows or bushes that taste just right. Consider it your personal bonus for showing up. And at Wolfsen Farms, and so many other farms like it, multiple varieties are planted with their own unique flavor and maturation times. This is your chance to expand your blueberry palate.
2. Blueberries are friendly plants. Far friendlier than other berry plants with thorns and prickles, like blackberries. I love the dexterity and cleverness required for a successful blackberry harvest, even the scratches are strangely memorable, but it’s a treat to pick fruit from a plant that doesn’t attack. In fact, it’s peaceful.
3. Make new friends. Picking at a farm is a shared experience. Going with family and friends is a must, it’s a summer outing that helps mark the season and is a perfect addition to the family tradition list. And while the adults chatter and listen to other groups chatter the kids find each other and they’re off and running, saying hello to the farm cat and horses or looking for berries and playing games among previously unexplored rows.
4. Improve your picking technique. The sheer volume of a farm vs. the handful of bushes typically grown in a home garden presents the worthwhile challenge of speed and conservation of movement. How many berries can you pick and deposit in your bucket with each go? And without dropping any? The double-handed technique while hanging your bucket over one arm seems to work pretty well.
5. DIY blueberries, from nearly beginning to end. You’ll come away with enough berries for a fabulous batch of jam, blueberry pie, cobbler or another favorite that’s perfect for sharing. Store them for a rainy day or smoothies throughout winter. Memories of summer picking will make it taste all the better.