Today was a lovely rainy Sunday, a light rain, a slow soak, so it was much better for blueberry picking than previous years when it was sunny and unbearably hot.
My friend, Julie and I went picking berries. For some reason I have the vague memory that somebody asked me to invite them the next time I went berry picking, but for the life of me, I can't remember who that was. So if you're reading this and I didn't invite you along, I apologize. Just remind me and I'll got out Mon-Wed of this week with you and pick some more.
I really like picking these blueberries because they are up off the ground on short trees or tall shrubs, rather than the squat bushes or ground cover I remember from way up north. It's much easier on the back and I'm all about making manual labor as easy as possible.
The orchard covers a number of acres so there were plenty of bushes to choose from. Some you could tell were picked clean, others weren't quite ripe, but there were still plenty very ripe and heavy with fruit. My technique for picking is to find a stem with at least 90% ripe berries, wrap my hand around the stem then gently roll the berries in my hand as I tug down on the branch to loosen the berries so they all fall into my waiting bucket directly below the branch. It beats picking them one-by-one.
This was the early view of my bucket. I think I picked around 7 pounds, I can't remember. But that's what I picked last time by filling the bucket. I also bought some berries for a neighbor. I took them home, lightly washed them off. Now they're all drying on a towel on the kitchen counter, next I'll bag them up and put them in the freezer. It's as simple as that. Our last 7 pounds of berries lasted us 2 years. We use them mostly on cereal or in hot oatmeal in the winter. Julie says blackberry picking will be in a few weeks in July. I'll go picking for those as well, even though our blackberry bush is full with unripened berries right now.