Cappers Farmer Blogs > Homespun Life in the City

Berry Picking Then and Now

By Erin Sheehan

Tags: Picking Blueberries, Blueberry Wine, Blueberry Muffins, Erin Sheehan,

Erin SheehanAbout as far back as I can remember, summertime meant berry picking. We had special long-sleeved shirts that were just for picking. They protected our arms and if they got stained it didn’t matter. We each wore a belt around our waist with a bucket tied to it so we could pick hands-free. I don’t have any idea how many berries I picked on those August days, but I do remember it was hot out there!

Not much has changed in the way of my picking methods. I have a light-weight pair of pants now that is pretty much exclusively for berry-picking and a few yogurt containers I’ve poked holes through for a string so that they slip on my belt.

An old family friend owns a large blueberry patch where we’ve picked for many years. He has early, mid and late berries, so in a good year they start coming ripe about mid-July and go through early September. I went out this week and picked 19 pounds in just over two hours.

After picking for two hours, I had 19 pounds of blueberries. 

Blueberry picking is relaxing and rewarding. This week it was just me, the blue jays and the bees out there in that beautiful, open field. And now we have enough berries for some winemaking and maybe a few muffins. I do hope to go back out to pick again next week, this time to get some for my parents and in case we decide to up our wine production.

blueberry bush 

I had the berries frozen just a few hours after I picked them. I put them in zip-locked freezer bags, weigh and label each bag and freeze them up. I never wash as the patch isn’t sprayed and the berries are clean as can be.

I hope you, dear reader, are able to get out to a blueberry patch this year. It will nourish your mind, body and soul!

8/4/2015 11:24:08 AM

Erin, berries here are raspberries, strawberries, and some blackberries. I haven't found any pick your own blueberries. The wild foraging here is elderberries and mulberries. Unfortunately, I haven't really taken advantage of any of the berry picking times. I'm just not into preservation all that much. I like growing and giving away. I probably should give more attention to stocking the food storage room that I built in the basement. The food there now is mostly store bought bargains. This year is a cut back year in my garden and only 1/4 of the space was planted. The extra work needed to reclaim the land was too much to handle with planting and caring for the garden. As you recall the garden was mostly fallow last year because of weather and health issues. The weeds came back with a vengeance so this year has been reclamation. The strawberry patch was totally decimated by deer this spring so I'm determined to complete the fence around the garden that has been a three year project. The strawberry patch is in such bad shape that I'm contemplating just digging up the whole patch and replanting the 13 plants that survived the deer snacking. Grass and bind weed are the weeds that are thriving this year. ***** Have a great berry picking day.