Monday, August 9, 2010

Blueberry picking... and picking and picking

We added 9 half pints of blueberry jam to our pantry today with more to come. I used the low-sugar recipe from and it is INCREDIBLE. You just can't go wrong with their instructions. We spent the latter half of the morning at the Darling Farm in Canaan, VT. The Darlings have been in their home and blueberry farm for 14 years and raise 15 varieties of blueberries and produce their own maple syrup. I had no idea there were some many different kinds of blueberries! Mrs. Darling encouraged us to "mix it up" when picking for for pies, jams and freezing because a hodgepodge of Patriots, Blue Jays, Spartans and the like would enhance the overall flavor. But, she cautioned, only pick Northlands for muffins or scones. They are smaller and will hold baked goods together better.

We arrived with each of us outfitted with our own yogurt container necklace ready to fill them up. Mrs. Darling smiled and handed us 2-quart cans with strong plastic twine. I am sure she could tell that we have mostly been "recreational" harvesters up until now. Well if that were the case, the Darling Farm is a professionally maintained playing field. There were rows and rows of bushes perfectly spaced and the berries were SO abundant. In two hours we picked over 11 pints of berries, half the amount we ultimately want for eating, canning, freezing and baking between now and next season. They're falling fast so we plan to head out again tomorrow.

One thought on harvest-outings. I have realized that fruit-picking should be approached much like a trip to one of the north side beaches on the Cape: pack your lunch the night before and head out as soon as you wake up. It's not as much fun to be out there in the hot sun as you think and you will probably need a nap and definitely a shower when you get back.

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