About 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.
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.
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.