Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, Nance and I drove down to Sunshine Valley Berry Farm in Rochester, Vermont to pick blueberries. The day threatened rain, so we tried to get up and go. We've been really busy with the house and work and all sorts of stuff, but getting our berries for the year is important to us.
We are reasonably good at tracking things like how much we picked the year before, so we knew we needed to pick somewhere in the range of 18-20 quarts of berries. We freeze most of what we pick and then use them up slowly through the year. In fact, one of my most favorite treats is a little of our yogurt with a few blueberries and some of our maple syrup, so I eat the majority of them. Our haul was pretty impressive --19 quarts all told-- but picking didn't feel ponderous; the bushes were full and it was easy to gather up big full ripe berries pretty quickly. When we got home we left them out for a while before freezing them to let them sweeten up a bit more.
We spoke with Rob and Patricia, the owners at Sunshine Valley, and they do a sort of work trade for berries in the spring. If you come down and help out, you get some experience pruning and shaping the bushes and earn a discount on the berries once they come into season later on. We're going to put that on our calendar.
Back here at home, we have 8 blueberry bushes that we planted 3 years ago. They were a present from Nancy's dad Lou and this year they are really starting to show their stuff. For a while there I was a little over eager with mulching and as a result kept down some of the new growth that was trying to come up. I've amended my ways and the bushes are all looking pretty good. (See the picture above). So far we've gotten 2-3 quarts here at home with a bunch more still to come. Its exciting to watch them come along. We look forward to expanding our fruit trees and bushes over time.