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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blueberry Picking

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. 
I got a little time on it myself, and found even better views further up the hill than we usually go.

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. 


  1. Oh I am so envious....we used to have many Blackberry 'spots' when I was a kid...but all the blackberry bushes get sprayed and killed by council now....all over Australia....I see the reasons, but couldn't they just leave a few....(kind of LOL)

  2. What a wonderful bounty! My hubby and I would love to visit Alaska. He made a brief stop during his time in the military and we both think it is beautiful.

  3. I ate my first wild blueberry last summer and couldn't believe the difference in flavor! They were so delicious!! Too bad I was a couple hours away from home. What a beautiful view for picking!

  4. We have wild blackberries around here but I've never seen and wild blueberries. I had to pay for my blueberries at a pick your own farm...they were quite tasty but I'm sure wild would be even better.

  5. hi
    you are a lucky woman.....you have fresh blueberries. nothing taste better as fresh blueberries.
    have a wonderful day,

  6. I'm on board with you to camp out and pick the whole time.Problem is I need to get there from Indiana,crap!!!
    We r just waiting to move but I have lots of ???s still

  7. Jamie, feel free to email me and ask any questions you have, I'll try to answer.

    Thanks everyone for your comments, I love to get them!

  8. Hello! I just found your blog today. I look forward to reading more posts. If you head out on CHS road and take Nordale, there is a great picking spot. This year the berries there are NUMBEROUS and two weeks ago my husband BIL and myself picked 6 gallons in about 3 hours. :) I'm not sure how many there still is there, but since most folks don't take wear any mud boots I'd at least gander down there and check it out. We intend to go again soon, at the rate my hubby and BIL are eating the syrup I made I'll need another 15 gallons to make it till next year. :)