Summer isn't summer without berry picking. One of my favorite family traditions is wild blueberry picking. It's a terrible lot of work, they grow on bushes very low to the ground and scattered on the plants, not thick and heavy like the domestic blueberries. The berries are also smaller and more tart, but they are oh so good! It's still a little early in the season and a lot of the berries still have a hint of green on them, these are perfect for cooked jams because they have higher pectin content. I make jam out of some, and keep the rest as frozen whole berries for pies, deserts, pancakes, muffins etc... In the summer I just pick out the leaves and twigs and toss them into a gallon freezer bag and don't do anything with them until the fall or winter when the house is cooler and our world slows down from the constant activity of summer.
A friend introduced us to our "spot" 12 years ago when we moved here, and we go back every year. There are other "spots" that we occasionally pick at too, but this one is my favorite and I have to go there at least once or twice. It's like meditating to me, sitting in the wonderful sun, with acres and acres of beauty around me.
When the kids were little they would run around playing, hiding, and eating blueberries in the endless tundra. They used to look forward to coming. Maybe I should have gotten them picking right away, because now that they are old enough to help, they don't much and they think of it as work. Today I bribed them by bringing the 4 wheeler, they had to pick to earn their riding time.
We picked 2 gallons today, it's not the best year I've seen, and it was kind of slow. I like to get at least 6 gallons, 8 would be perfect. So that means we will have 2-3 more blueberry picking trips. I'd love to go camping and pick and pick and just get it done, but I haven't sold my family on that idea yet.