“Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!” – Robert Frost
I spent Wednesday morning at a pick your own blueberry farm with my parents while my sister babysat my daughter. It was perfect weather for this – overcast but no rain. Picking blueberries brings a special kind of joy – there is nothing fresher than a basket full of berries you have handpicked!
Buckets tied around our necks and baskets in hand we set off to find a perfect spot to start picking. The blueberry trees were full of gorgeously plump and ripe berries. I soon discovered after some taste tests that the best berries were up on the higher branches. Large and almost just over-ripe these tiny treasures were sweet and full of that classic blueberry flavour. I couldn’t wait to get these babies home to deal with!
It is funny, not many Canadians would think to stand around at a store sampling fruit right off the shelf as they shopped yet each and every person I saw picking at some point sneaked some of those luscious berries into their mouth. I dare you to go pick some for yourself and see if you can keep yourself from doing the same!
Even my father, who hates blackberries, admits he was tempted to try a handful. (Ok so he was starving at this point!)
The trees were still bountifully laden with blueberries so it was far from slim pickings. In previous years I have gone blueberry picking closer to the end of season and the experience was not quite as pleasant. There is just something so satisfying about being able to grab a good 6-7 berries at a time rather than just 1 or 2.
It wasn’t long before I had a basket filled with blueberries to bring home.
Now my favourite part! What to do with all this fruit?
I decided to keep some to put on my cereal in the morning and some to freeze. Most importantly though was that I needed enough to make delicious home made jam!
Nothing compares to homemade jam in flavour – you can pay a fortune for a tiny jar of premium jam at the Farmers market but even that doesn’t seem to come close enough. Why pay that much anyway?
When I got home with my berries I was able to put down ten 500ml jars of flavourfully sweet blueberry jam and it cost me barely a fraction to make compared to what it would have cost to buy even just supermarket jam! I also had a ton of berries left over to freeze!
It seems a bit ridiculous to pay so much for an inferior product or to pay ridiculous amounts for minute amounts of berries when you can just go pick your own at a farm. Not to mention that this is a great way to support your local farmers and anyway, the supermarket just doesn’t offer the same experience!
Now I’m off to enjoy some of that jam. Yum.