Picking blueberries in July is one of our favorite family traditions, or should I say “the girls and I love our favorite family tradition”.
My big boys have grown out of their desire to sweat in the NC summer sun as slave labor, and yet they expect to just enjoy sampling the fruit of our labors. That is not to be. I forced encouraged them to come pick, yes, I did.
If you don’t work, you don’t eat. 😉
Around the corner from our home is a “pick your own” blueberry patch. I have planted ten bushes in our own garden, but they haven’t mastered the art of producing for a family yet. Hopefully by next year.
Every season, my desire is to pick enough to last us into the winter, but that means many hands to do the picking. With our fruit smoothies, muffins, blueberry pancakes, and cobblers, we go through fruit quite quickly.
Picking it during the peak of the season when the prices are low, and then freezing it allows me to save oodles of money, yet benefit nutritionally as well.
Blueberries are the easiest of fruits to freeze. There is absolutely no trick to it. Typically, I am in the habit of flash freezing all of my fruit so they do not freeze in one big clump, but with blueberries, you can literally wash, dry and dump into a freezer bag and enjoy at your convenience.
Have you ever tried frozen grapes and blueberries right out of the freezer? YUM – it’s a delicious and healthy treat for anyone, even the kids will love it.
So how about you…do you ever pick your own fruit?
And a blast from the past…
The second post EVER on my blog was about our blueberry picking expedition in the rain. I barely even knew what a blog was when I shared this story, and rereading it was such fun.
(And that little boy in the white shirt is now 6’2″ and weighs 200 lbs. How did that happen SO quickly? Well, probably the same way I gained 15 lbs since that picture…;))
We love to go blueberry picking. And yes I have pictures from the last 4 years we’ve gone and yummy recipes.
It’s such a great family tradition. 🙂
WE LOVE BLUEBERRY PICKING!!!! Eight summers ago, when I was pregnant with our 2nd son, my sweet husband surprised me with a trip to pick blueberries. He had me close my eyes as we came near. Love that memory. Every summer we load up the now 4 boys and drive 50min to the blueberry farm. Wouldn’t be summer without it. What I love about our farm is they encourage you to taste the bush. Some of our lttles tend to fill their mouths instead of their buckets 😉 The year it rained on us was the best. We got 38lbs that year!!! The rain cooled us off and we kept going. We keep trying to beat that goal. Maybe next year. This year we tried going in the evening to pick instead of early morning. Much better option. We will do that again next year, but we will judge the time better. We only had 25 mins before we couldn’t tell red from purple. But still a blast!
My Dad showed me a really easy way to pick blueberries just last week. You cut out part of a gallon milk jug and put the handle part of the jug through your belt. This way your hands are free to pick twice as many berries. My mom also insist that it is better to freeze blueberries without washing them first. Just be sure to wash before eating.
I would tend to agree with your mom. I typically just pop in the bag without freezing, but lately my kids have been using them as snacks right out of the bag, that I washed them this time. I think if it’s organically grown, it probably wouldn’t matter as much about the washing (especially since we ate a TON right off the bush). 😉
We love blueberries here, though we haven’t gone picking yet. Next year the youngest child will be three, and it will be easier to pick at our closest farm. We do go strawberry picking in June. With essentially three adults picking (including our fourteen year old), we can pick a ton of blueberries. I am looking forward to going peach and apple picking in August.
I did pick up four containers of blueberries at the farmers market today, and put them in the freezer. Can’t wait to have them in the fall and winter!
We love picking too! We do strawberries, blackberries and have done blueberries and peaches also. I have discovered apple houses here in NC where you can get seconds of apples, peaches and nectarines. You miss out on the picking, but we can come home from a trip with a variety of fruits that are incredibly reasonable. It is worth checking out.
We LOVE strawberry picking! We want to go blueberry picking very soon, hopefully there is still some left! I like to freeze what we get as well. We made strawberry freezer jam and it is DELICIOUS! 🙂
Here are some pictures from our trip! 🙂
I just posted about picking blueberries yesterday!! Our family loves them.
This year we picked strawberries, blackberries and blueberries at Vollmer Farm in Bunn, NC. Vollmer’s berries are organically grown. After we finished picking, we treated ourselves to a “Wildcat Whopper” in the ice cream shop – 2 bananas, 7 scoops of homemade ice cream and 5 toppings.
I don’t pick my own fruit, but I do buy it. My local berry farm is also a wholesale distributer and they sell 30# boxes of Blueberries which I buy (already frozen), I open the box, scoop out the frozen berries into individual bags and re-freeze. Fast, easy and about the same $$ as buying them fresh, without me having to stem, and wash them. I bought 6 berry bushes this last year and can’t wait till they produce
Hey, Jen! This has nothing to do with blueberries, but I just saw on Pepperidge Farm’s Facebook page that they’re offering another .55 coupon for Milano cookies. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pepperidgefarmmilano?ref=ts
Thanks for all you do to save us money!!!
My family has fallen in love with fresh fruit this year! There seems to be an abundance of it! Our strawberries and raspberries and blackberries produced good crops this year! Even my black lab got in on the picking and eating! http://keeninspirations.blogspot.com/2010/06/im-jammin.html Between the dog and my boys, I was fortunate to get enough to freeze and make jam! I’ve had to buy our blueberries and peaches. 🙁
growing up we had about 10-12 bludberry plants that my mom, my sisters and i would pick at all summer long. i don’t know how many lbs we got from those bushes, but i do remember wonderful blueberry pies, cobblers and jam that my older sister and mom made. mmmm! we also had blackberry bushes across the street that we would pick from. i have a hard time spending money on what we used to get for free, but i have gone blueberry and strawberry picking. i don’t know if i’ll pick this year but i definitely plan on picking up some flats soon. we just moved to the gorgeous columbia gorge region of WA state and there is an abundance of wonderful fruit here!
love your pictures and your blogg..thanks for doing what you are doing with sharing your life experiences with your family etc. I learn so much from all you have to say… My children are all grown…and my life is just work and home now….and an occassional trip to see my kids. My oldest daughter past away 11 years ago from skin cancer…but since then I am involved with The Compassionate Friends… it is a wonderful organization to be with after a loss of a child. I got to attend convention last year in Portland and heard a speaker talk about how his child touches his life still. I know this to be true also…but he mentioned lightly about “Orbs”..and how they are picked up easily on digital camera. Well,…amazingly you got one also on your last photo you displayed…it is awesome! and you probably didn’t even know that it was there. Do you have any loved ones passed recently that could be trying to be near you still? I am a Bible based believer in Christ…but know this phenomena to happen all the time…something that can’t be explained… check out the website… Heartlights.com –he explans it all there. just had to say something…thanks again..you probably think I am strange for mentioning this…sorry don’t mean to upset you…Hugs & prayers, BJM
My Mom and I have gone strawberry and raspberry picking. I don’t know of a place to pick blueberries here. Our favorite raspberry place is my brother’s farm. After working we get to relax on their deck with a lemonade.
Not too many blueberry bushes in Arizona….but we can buy them cheap at the store. $1 per pint….so I stocked up and froze them this week. We do have a abundance of oranges, lemons and limes through the winter months in our own back yard 🙂
Thank you for your blog. I really enjoy stopping by and seeing all of your tips, tricks and handy ideas.
frozen grapes are one of our favorite treats!
I wish we had pick your own places near us!!
I love the idea of freezing them in muffin tins
NC girl here. Although I still have two ziplocks of last year’s blueberries in the freezer, I use them a LOT thru the entire yr, so, we went picking yesterday here. I’ve been freezing blueberries for 30+ years; never had problems just throwing them in a ziplock and in they go.