As of today, Dwight and I have picked blueberries three times this season. The Blueberry Ranch opened Friday, July 8, a full week later than last year due to a cool, wet spring. We went first thing the following morning to beat both the heat and the crowds. My parents came with us.
First picking is always a treat. The first variety up for picking is Duke. Unlike some of the other varieties we've picked, these tend to ripen in full clumps, so you just grab handful after handful of berries.
The same wet, cool spring that delayed picking also produced bigger, sweeter berries. We could tell the difference immediately. Picking has been a real treat. We picked Dukes first, missed the next two varieties because they were picked so quickly, then went last Thursday after work to pick Bluecrop.
8lbs I picked on July 9
Oh my holy heck. The Bluecrops are incredible. I'm not one to eat fresh blueberries. I tend to like them in baked goods or frozen and eaten with yogurt or in smoothies. But these. Wow. So sweet. We picked about 14 pounds on Thursday and went back on Saturday morning to get more. Twenty pounds more, roughly. We've already eaten about half of those. Well, we gave some away, but yeah, we chowed down. I froze the rest.
I don't have any pictures from the Bluecrop picking but they were larger berries, generally, much sweeter than the Dukes and you had to work a bit harder to pick them. They don't ripen like the Dukes so there isn't the same grab handful after handful, stripping the bush type of picking, but more of a pick individual berries approach. Lots of green berries still on the bushes.
But they were totally worth it. Even when we end up with unwanted hitch hikers.
I'll put up with an occasional bug for organic berries!