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Summer Blueberry Picking in the Carolina Mountains

Updated on February 1, 2018
Blueberry Patches and People
Blueberry Patches and People | Source

Summer's Blueberry Season in the Carolinas Means it's Time Enjoy the Outdoors

What’s not to love about picking plump, juicy blueberries in the mountains? Different varieties ripen in an assortment of hues, from almost black to a pretty cornflower blue and they are a delight to both people and wildlife.

Part of their goodness is that they are packed with more antioxidants than some other common fruits and they are filled with natural sweetness yet are a low glycemic index food. They are nothing short of awesome!

Early on the plant's flowers offer bees the chance to make marvelous honey, then the berries provide fresh summer food. The fruit is a beautiful subject for artwork and a good part of my kitchen décor is taken up with these wonderful berries.

Waiting on blueberry season is the hardest part of springtime. Summer has to come and do its work on the plants. Then they have to ripen to perfection. Anticipating them can be a distraction, but before we know it, we're in our old blue jeans and off picking mountain blueberries.

Looking forward to the foods we will enjoy them with is mouth-watering anticipation at its best. From fresh blueberry lemonade to salads, from syrups to the pancakes themselves, summer recipes are enhanced by this tiny fruit's bright taste.

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Blueberry recipes never disappoint.
Blueberry recipes never disappoint. | Source

Unexpected Experiences while Picking Berries

Blueberry season is a busy and interesting time at our house. Blessed to live near an organic farm so we can take advantage of premium berries at their peak every July, we are serious about fresh blueberries.

We like to freeze as many as possible even as we consume them straight from the farm. One year, we had put up 82 cups, as well as having eaten and shared a good bit more, before I stopped counting. Having flexible schedules means that we can go out to the patch during their least busy times.

Being there when no one else is around is an intense contrast to the rest of life. A covey of quail let my husband see them one day last week, and we often hear turkey in the distance. Mornings we deal with small birds swooping our heads if we get too close to a nest and evenings are loud with in sync chirps and croaks.

Ripe blueberries in July bring extra special delights with their arrival. Reaching as high as tip toes will allow yields some of the juiciest fruit on the bushes. Experiences under the arching branches in the patch, however, can be more interesting than expected.

One sad day they may say enough is enough and decide it is time to close their doors to the public.

You can find more than you expect when you pick blueberries in the mountains!
You can find more than you expect when you pick blueberries in the mountains! | Source

Blueberries for Any and Every Body--for Now, Anyway

We don’t always get the patch to ourselves. Sometimes being out there can provide insightful adventures with human nature. I’ve decided that every personality and character likes blueberries, but I can’t say I understand the thinking behind all of their behaviors.

Families with children provide food for thought. Some parents just let their little ones run wild, others teach their children to respect the farmer’s plants and crops, and to respect other people who are picking. They teach them how to pick ripe berries, and they spend time talking with them while they pick together.

One day we were alone except for two young men. Young enough to be talking about what they experienced in elementary school, but old enough to be interested in jobs with a future, they had been picking for some time and had stashes every few rows. When they returned to the area we were starting on we teased them about picking for us.

It was which of the two was the leader. He was continuing to teach the other how to pick the best berries, as well as leading the conversations they had. Some of it was typical boy stuff and such, part of it was an effort to examine political issues. I was saddened to hear their coarse, even vulgar language, partly because it was an indication that the potential they obviously had was being squandered.

Blueberry Picking
Blueberry Picking | Source

I might have told them that as a mom I would appreciate it if they would restrain their language, but my husband had moved about a half-acre away when their conversation turned to knives and other weapons. Weapons do not frighten me unless they are in the hands of careless or disturbed people.

Their discussion evolved into who Jack the Ripper might have been with an interest that motivated me to simply move myself away. I wasn’t really afraid, lots of people discuss who J.t.R. was, but since I didn’t know more about these guys I decided not to chance provoking them.

Another day there was a group of women already picking when we arrived. Excited about how fruitful the plants were, a particularly loud one finally announced that her belly was full and her basket was full so it was time to go. In a not too loud voice I told my husband that I wouldn’t be announcing that fact.

Of course, I had to look, and sure enough, when I parted the bushes, she had a big belly. One just has to shake one’s head at the thinking behind some attitudes. Most everyone tastes the berries, but to make a meal of them is not acceptable.

The owners of this blueberry farm have shared some unbelievable stories about customers. Besides late freezes, hail storms, and drought making crop success iffy business, the thievery they have to put up with is astounding. Everyone expects to taste a berry or two from a row of bushes, but sometimes people will spend a long time in the patch, then leave without paying for even one basket of berries.

We’re thankful to be able to enjoy the fruits of these owners’ labors and are glad to pay for the privilege of picking at their organic farm. It is dreadful to see and hear about the difficulties they have, though, because it could mean that one day they will say enough is enough, and decide it’s time to close their doors to the public.

About Blueberry Jam and Conserve:

Start a Pot of Coffee and Serve the Blueberry Pie!

Well, all the rambling about picking blueberries in July brings me to this news. I’ll be posting a two-recipes-for-one hub on using blueberries in cow milk free cobbler and muffins as soon as my latest experiment comes out of the oven and I'm certain it is as good as expected.

You might like to plan on whipping one of them up and settling in with your favorite little person to watch the video next to this paragraph while you enjoy blueberry smiles together. It is a timeless story for young and old alike!

Working on new recipes with good-for-us ingredients makes picking mountain berries well-worth the time it takes. Now though, I need to start some decaf coffee!

When Picking Blueberries Beware of Bears In The Mountains!

Study Blueberry Varieties

Growing blueberries at home for your own use solves a lot of problems, including people problems. Using the step-by-step guide, Home Grown Blueberries can help you prepare and begin your own little stand. Once established you'll be ready to expand it season by season, and your neighbors will want to know what you've learned. Simply loan them the book and your neighborhood will be happily blue!

Don't miss Blueberries for Sal!
Don't miss Blueberries for Sal!

More Recipes and Healthy Food Info:

• A GF and cow's milk free blueberry gateau recipe with basil and goat cheese!

The top ten benefits of blueberries.

Chicken salad with blueberries.

• What do you know about using blue agave sweetener in baked goods?

• Do you need this pumpkin recipe for an allergy?

• Even with a milk allergy you can have your chocolate cake and eat it too!

• What do you bake with bananas?

• Have you baked with Sun Crystals?

• What foods do you bake with almonds in your kitchen?

• Did you know that there is a healthy egg substitute for baking?

• Would you like to read some funny cooking stories?

Blueberry Scones sans gluten and cow's milk!

• Plant blueberries to enhance wildlife habitats.

• Learn about growing healthy blueberry plants.

Grow blueberries from seed.

• An easy guide to growing blueberries.

⚘ Do You Pick Blueberries In July?

Submit a Comment

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    PegCole17:

    Thanks much for stopping in to check out this older post! It's a different hub, but I enjoying writing about slice-of-life stuff and such. :)

    It's lovely to have memories of being out in the gardens or orchards when the veggies and fruits are at their peak and I'm so glad to know that this reminded you of some of those times!

    A farm setting is an excellent place to have a chance to stop and think about values, especially when there is interaction with a wide variety of people… What you mention is true, but we can initiate discussions and set examples, so thanks again for stopping in here with your comment. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Blueberries really are one of nature's wonderful bounty. I have two plants in containers on the porch and they provide enough fruit for me to use and freeze all year.

    We grew up going to the u-pick farms, picking strawberries and pole beans and other vegetables. Along the way we found some wild guava trees and collected enough fruit to make preserves. My grandmother had a pecan farm and we collected those as well. Your stories remind me of those good times.

    I enjoyed reading your story about the different kinds of folks who frequent these types of places. It seems that values like honesty and integrity are not always part of the culture like it once was.

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

    phdast7:

    The love of blueberries could make us break out into song! :)

    Thanks kindly for your feedback on this look at blueberry farms. Every year now we wonder if "ours" will remain open to the public. We need to good stewardship of these u-pick places!

  • phdast7 profile image

    Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    Oh I dearly love blueberries and blueberry jam and butter, and blueberry pie is heavenly. :) This is a great hub and I am terribly jealous that you live so close to a blueberry farm. lol Theresa

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Danette Watt:

    So nice! And it's nice to have you stop by! :)

  • Danette Watt profile image

    Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

    Love blueberries! It is nice to go out to a farm when it's quiet isn't it?

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Ah, but these aren't just any old carbs, they are berry blue carbs! These carbs are in disguise, just waiting to burst their juicy flavor onto your taste buds and thrill you to your toes! :) Enjoy!

  • theseattlegirl profile image

    theseattlegirl 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Now you've just reminded me that I'm carb-starved. Hmmm... I think some milk-free blueberry muffins are in my future! :)

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    theseattlegirl:

    You won't be sorry! Did you know that sandwich bags hold about 2 cups of berries and that most blueberry muffin recipes only require 1 cup? :)

    Thanks much for stopping by with your comment!

  • theseattlegirl profile image

    theseattlegirl 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

    I can practically taste blueberry after reading this. Looks like I'm going to need to hit-up my farmer's market on the weekend!

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    funmontrealgirl:

    Hope you found some blueberries! :) You've reminded me that a blueberry cobbler would be a wonderful weekend treat.

    Appreciate your visit!

  • funmontrealgirl profile image

    funmontrealgirl 6 years ago from Montreal

    I absolutely LOVE blueberries. Yummy and healthy. Thanks for this nice hub to make me hungry. Hehe.

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks very much! Hope you enjoy the fruits of your labors. :)

  • profile image

    kims3003 6 years ago

    Going to try - great share - nice work! Sounds great!

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    You are right, thougtforce, they are full of antioxidants and nutrients and fiber and wonderful taste! :)

    As I watch all that goes on with disrespectful people in society I sometimes wonder about starting a speak-up movement but my friend reminds that people like that just don't care about anything except what they want at any given moment.

    Hope you are enjoying your berries by now. I wrote a hub with two blueberry recipes in tandem with this one. How do you use your berries? If you write a hub with a recipe let me know so I can link it to one of mine.

    Thanks bunches for coming by with your blueberry news and kind comments. :)

  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

    Blueberries are both good and healthy and I am always grateful to be able to go to the forest and pick blueberries.

    It is sad to meat people who don't respect the effort and time other had put down in such organic farms or that the property of others isn't for free. If they are adults I do not know if they ever will learn or how to tell them.

    I liked this hub very much and I got inspired to pick some blueberries myself!

    Thanks and voted up!

    Tina

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Your research is accurate! Some stores have really nice frozen ones, but to get your own in your freezer is incredible goodness for months to come. A sandwich bag holds 2 cups for freezing. Most muffin recipes require 1 cup of berries, but one pie recipe usually requires 6 -7 cups--intense flavor!

    So appreciate your kind comments. Thanks for visiting and sharing your input!

  • Bud Gallant profile image

    Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

    This sounds very wonderful. I really love blueberries. They are incredibly healthy, too, it seems, if my online research is at all accurate. This hub was very enjoyable to read. I felt almost like I was there experiencing these things for myself. I loved your stories. They made this very interesting. People sure can be a fascinating thing to observe.

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    It really is an extraordinary blessing! My friends do think I'm a blueberry nut. :-) But I confess, it's true! :)

    The owners of the patch are really nice people, and the location is quite serene.

  • Rose West profile image

    Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

    That must be so cool to live near a blueberry patch! I would have berry mania!

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    anginwu:

    Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate your visit and input very much!

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    SusieQ42:

    Just today a friend told me about picking strawberries at dawn. Must be something to it. We like to go to the blueberry patch the day after a rain--they are so plump then!

    Appreciate that you came by!

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    akirchner:

    Sounds like those were the days. :) So appreciate your visit! :)

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Lovely hub on blueberries and lessons/stories learned while picking blueberries--definitely a great way to spent summer. Rated up.

  • RTalloni profile image
    Author

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Phil Plasma: Those must have been lovely days with your sister! Maybe you could find some blueberries at a local farmer's market.

    Thanks bunches for stopping in!

  • profile image

    SusieQ42 6 years ago

    Yum, your blueberries sound good. I've had them with yogurt and granola at Steak and Shake. They are so good. I picked strawberries for money when I was a teenager. We always went just after sun up. I'll never forget enjoying a few bites when picking!

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

    Oh I miss the Washington blueberries we used to go pick with our kids~ We picked all kinds of berries - it was so much fun! Wonderful subject!

  • Phil Plasma profile image

    Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

    My sister went away to university in a place where blueberry patches were common and so I would visit and get the fresh blueberries. Local to where I live they aren't as common.

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