We had been to a berry farm last weekend to do our own blueberry picking and I wanted to share some of my thoughts here. We had done berry picking almost 4 years ago when DS was still an infant. So we decided to do it again this year so that he could have a first hand experience about the trees, farm, berry picking right off of the grove etc. Coming from a concrete jungle it is easy to loose touch with nature and forget where the produce came from.
We started off very early in the morning toward the country so that we could avoid the warm sun during the picking. After all Texas Sun is notorious not without a good reason. Driving through the country is an experience in itself; far away from the hustle bustle of the city the view is calming and relaxing. With long stretch of greenery on either sides of the road, panoramic view of blue skies, view of grazing animals and no sight of buildings or vehicles it is a treat to the eyes. Even people seem warm, down-to-earth and talk through their hearts rather than their minds.
At the farm, we were joined by another friend of ours and we picked the bucket and setout to the field to collect the berries. Blueberry are basically bushes round and can grow anywhere from 6″ to over 10′ tall, and 2′ to 15′ wide, depending on the type. Blueberries are midsized shrubs that have clusters of white, bell-like flowers in spring and edible blueberries in summer. A mature bush can produce ten quarts of berries or more per year.
Even though it was early in the morning, other people had poured in and started their picking already. As a result most of the ripe blueberries were gone and we had to plough through to pick the ripe ones. Just 30 minutes into the picking, it was beginning to get hot and sweaty; we persisted and gathered how much ever we could. It is a humbling experience knowing that many farmers make their living growing the berries, picking them, toiling in the sun doing all the hard work; while we get their fruits of labor.
The kiddo did a good job in the beginning, but later on he got bored and tired; but overall he seemed to like it. In the two and half hours that we had been there, we managed to get close to a galloon of blueberries, all for a decent price. End of it all even though it was hot and tiring it was a good learning and rewarding experience.
Blueberry Nutrition: With flavors that range from mildly sweet to tart and tangy, blueberries are nutritional stars bursting with nutrition and flavor while being very low in calories. Packed with antioxidant, blueberries neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues that can lead to cataracts, ulcers, heart disease and cancer. (Source)
With whatever booty we had, we shared most of it with our friends, neighbors and colleagues. We have been using the remaining in our cereals, shakes and smoothies.
Blueberry Smoothie Recipe
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries ( I used fresh)
- 1 ripe medium banana (peeled)
- 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
- Honey/sugar per taste
- Vanilla essence (optional)
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
- Peel the banana and chop the banana into big chunks.
- Now put them in a blender along with the blueberries and run through without adding any liquid. This makes good paste of the fruit. Otherwise if milk is added along with the fruit, the fruit does not get pureed and there could be some lumps.
- Now add the milk, yogurt, honey/sugar, ice and essence and blend again.
- Refrigerate and serve as required.