Summer Fun: Let's Pick Blueberries!
I don't know about the rest of you, but once the beautiful summer weather arrives each year I can't resist going outside to play in the sun!
Last weekend some friends and I decided to go pick blueberries at a local farm. I realize that Hub Pages attracts readers from around the globe so this activity may not be available in your area. However, if it is then it's well worth the effort!
Hazen's Riverside Blueberry Farm
Since we live on the southern Oregon coast, we decided to drive inland to a farm in the Coquille River valley called Hazen's Riverside Blueberry Farm. According to their web page, the farm has been in operation for the past ten years. They have a great reputation among the locals. In fact, the day before our planned visit, I got into a conversation with a co-worker in the break room at work. He and some friends had gone berry picking at the very same farm the day before!
Part of the fun of visiting the Hazen's Farm is the trip there. The farm is located off of winding country road out in the boondocks. To make it even more interesting, you have to cross an extremely narrow and equally rickety old bridge to get there. (It just occurred to me that I should have taken a photograph of the bridge to share with you! I'll try to remember on my next trip out there!).
Once you arrive, you'll be greeted my some friendly folks that will provide you with a bucket to put your berries in (please note: you'll need to bring your own containers to carry the berries home in). They'll also explain to you which rows of bushes you can pick from. I wish I had the right words to explain how enjoyable it is to pick the plump, sweet berries from the bushes with the warm sun on your back. It was a great experience!
Once your bucket is full you have the option of either paying for the berries and leaving or getting a second bucket. The blueberries are reasonably priced at $1.65 a pound. They also have cold drinks and some snacks available for purchase.
Advantages of Berry Picking
Berry picking is a fun activity that the entire family can enjoy. (The Hazen's Farm has smaller buckets available to accommodate visiting children.) The activity allows you to enjoy some time together outdoors during the summer, and-- best of all-- it helps to teach children to appreciate blueberries as a healthy snack alternative to candy and other junk food!
Your kids will leave with fond memories of a fun filled afternoon. There were several families picking berries while we were there. One young couple had an infant and a pre-school aged little boy with them. Their group was close enough to ours that I could catch bits of their conversation. I found the little boy's chatter amusing. For instance, at point he told him mother that they should get another bucket because he wanted to make sure they had enough berries for him to make his "very own" blueberry pie.
At another point, the mother told the infant reassuringly that he was being a good boy and "such a good little helper." The older boy perked up excitedly, "Is he really helping? I want to see!"
If you're looking for a fun summer activity then I would definitely recommend checking your local listing for berry farms that allow the public to come pick their own berries. It's a lot of fun!
Now to figure out what I'm going to make with all of my blueberries... I think I see fruit smoothies and some home made jelly in my future!