Blueberries

Bybee-Nims Farms, in North Bend, opened its “U-pick” blueberry fields this week. When we went on Wednesday, the parking lot was teeming with mini-vans and station wagons full of families with the same idea. The fields are very prolific, and one doesn’t have to venture far to find a good bush. Blueberry bushes have no thorns and, at least on the farm, grow in nice rows. (Blackberries, which will be in season next month, grow like weeds and have thorns on everything, including the leaves. I have never seen a “U-pick blackberry farm.” )

After picking ten or eleven berries, my oldest was content to play “picnick” with one of her friends. My spouse and the youngest took turns filling up the youngest’s little bucket. Meanwhile, I went for the motherlode. All told, we came away with a shade under 17 pounds of blueberries (at $1.20/pound). The berries are very huge, as you can see in the picture to the left.

The youngest was very proud that she filled up the bucket “all by herself,” and insisted on paying for, bagging, labeling and freezing “her” berries separately. 17 pounds is a lot of berries. We put most in the freezer. TwoOne pounds are is in the fridge, quickly being eaten.

I will post a recipe next week after I’ve recuperated from STP.

16 thoughts on “Blueberries”

  1. Why pick fresh berries if you are just going to freeze them?

    And why do you spell “picnick” that way? To get around the (false) racist origins of the word?

  2. I always thought “picknick” was French in origin, so this spelling is just a way to boycott the French since Freedom-nick just doesn’t sound as good.

    Blackberries – are these the same as the ubiquitous Due-berries of Texas? These grew like weeds, are hard to pick, but pretty tasty. Since they were prolific, you would see cars parked along side the road near public areas with people picking them at their leisure.

  3. > Why pick fresh berries if you are just going to freeze them?

    Lots of reasons:
    1. It’s fun.
    2. Gets the kids out of the house, seeing something different.
    3. Berries are $1.20/pound at the farm, $3.29 at Trader Joe’s.
    4. These are very large blueberries.
    5. If I eat all of them, I turn blue, just like that girl in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
    6. Quick blog material.

    Initially I went in, intent on filling up the bucket with what we could reasonably eat. Each time I turned, I’d see another bunch of very ripe blueberries daring me to pick them. When the bucket was full, I dumped them in another, larger container and went back for more.

  4. From the Oxford English Dictionary:

    picnic n. & v. 1 an outing or excursion including a packed meal eaten out of doors. 2 any meal eaten out of doors or without preparation, tables, chairs, etc. 3 (usu. with neg.) colloq. something agreeable or easily accomplished etc. (it was no picnic organising the meeting). – v.intr. (picnicked, picnicking) take part in a picnic. picnicker n. picnicky adj. colloq. [French pique-nique, of unknown origin]

    It is thusly clear that the spelling ‘picnick’ is a backform from ‘picnicked/picnicking’ which has a k (same as panic -> panicked/panicking).

    Picnic isn’t a racist word at all – two links that explain it better than I can here:

    http://www.takeourword.com/Issue032.html#Sez%20You
    http://www.takeourword.com/et_n-p.html#picnic

  5. The blueberries in the grocery stores here are puny and scuzzy looking. Maybe we’ll look into picking some ourselves. Charlotte would love it.

  6. You have reminded me of a book we had when I was a kid (my mom probably still has it somewhere).

    If you haven’t, get yourself a copy of:

    Blueberries for Sal
    by Robert McCloskey

  7. > Blueberries for Sal

    Yes, I’ve read that one! It’s very old and was a Randolph Caldecott honor book. (The award is given to “the most distinguished American picture book for children.” Emphasis is on illustrations, which is fine for my kids’ ages.)

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