If you’re looking for a new family tradition….add blueberry picking to your list!! Seriously, it’s the best tradition ever!! It’s relaxing to pick blueberries…a little therapeutic I guess. Plus you can get a ton of blueberries for super cheap!!
Blueberries are my favorite berries to pick because they’re easy!! The bushes are the perfect height so you’re not bending over or sitting on the ground to pick them…you can just walk along the bushes and grab a handful!! Super easy, super cheap, and yummy!!
Blueberry Picking Tips
- Call some local farms beforehand. Make sure the blueberries are in season (May-July) and compare prices. I’ve picked blueberries for $1 a pound (rare) but I’ve also picked them for $3.75 a pound. I feel like $3.75 is a little pricey…but it’s still cheaper than the store!!
- Pack some water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and maybe even a hat. You’re probably only going to pick for a few hours but it can get hot fast.
- Don’t forget to bring cash!! A lot of the smaller farms aren’t going to take credit cards…in fact most of the farms I go to are based on the honor system. They just have a weigh station and a box for you to drop your money in afterwards. So don’t forget cash!!
- Bring your own bucket. Most farms will give you a “picking bucket” with a rope around it…that way your hands are free for picking and the bucket just hangs around your neck/arm like a purse. It’s nice to have your own bucket though so that you can empty your “picking bucket” when it gets too heavy and then you can use it to transport the blueberries home in. Large farms will give you a bag to carry the blueberries home in…but I’ve been to several that don’t have anything for you. Plus the bags seem to squish the blueberries on the drive home. I hate working for hours and then seeing my blueberries squished…protect your blueberries and bring a bucket!!
- Don’t just pick any berries you can find…pick good ones!! Seriously…don’t just grab a bushel of blueberries if there’s only one good one in the bushel. I like the big light-blue blueberries (try saying that 10 times fast)…they’re the best!! Don’t pick blueberries that have red, purple, or green on them…they’re not ripe yet!! Remember…big light-blue blueberries are the best!!
- Try not to get the stems on the blueberries. You’ll have to pick them out later so I just prefer to “pick them right the first time”.
Where to pick blueberries?
I’d start by looking on Google for some U-Pick Farms in your area. I’d even be willing to drive an hour or so to get to a good farm…make a mini day trip out of it. I’m normally in Michigan visiting my family during blueberry season so I like to go to U-Pick Blueberries Farm in Benton Harbor (3209 E. Empire St). Next year I’m going to be in Austin for blueberry season so I’m going to try Kingsbury Blueberry Farms. Unfortunately it’s about a 90 minute drive from Austin…so if you know of anything closer please let me know!!
What to do with all of the blueberries?
You’re probably wondering what to do with pounds and pounds of blueberries?? Easy solution…you clean them and make 3 piles. One pile is just for you to snack on. The second pile is for blueberry recipes and the third pile is for you to freeze. My mom always froze the majority of the blueberries we picked so she could use them year round for smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods!
Pro-Freezing Tip: Wash the blueberries, dry them on a cookie sheet for a few hours, put the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours, and then add the frozen blueberries to a freezer bag. My mom says it helps keep the blueberries from sticking together….seems to work so she must be right!!
Now let’s go back to your second pile of blueberries for recipes…this is the best part of blueberry picking!! My two favorite blueberry recipes are Blueberry Delight and Blueberry Cookies!!
I’d love to hear what some of your favorite recipes are…maybe I can give them a try next year!!