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Blueberry Pickin'

We went blueberry picking today!

There's a little U-pick farm in the next town over (Jessop Farms -- you locals might want to check it out).  They have blueberries for $3 a pound.  Not bad, considering the grocery store has them for sale for about $8 per pound right now.

Of course, you have to pick them yourself.

And then you realize why they're so expensive at the grocery store.

But it was a nice morning.  We got our buckets and headed out to the fields.  We went to the farthest back corner, because the owner told us the fattest berries grew there.

The kids and I were able to pick 18 pounds of berries in just about 45 minutes.  Don't they look good? 

So, what do you do with 18 pounds of blueberries?  Well, we ate about 2 pounds before noon.  Then, I froze them.  It was super easy.

First, you lay them out, in a single layer, on a cookie sheet.  Notice the little hand sneaking into the picture to snack on more berries?

Put the cookie sheets in the freezer until the berries are solid.  Once frozen, pour them into freezer bags and place back into the freezer.

As long as you don't wash the berries before you freeze them, you won't get a solid lump of berries -- you can reach into the bag and pull out each berry individually.  The grower recommended this, and since they're organically grown I don't have to worry about pesticides, I didn't wash them.  They froze wonderfully!

I've been working diligently again to grow as much of our food as possible and purchase what I can't grow from local farms.  I'm trying to buy things seasonally and put them up for the entire year, either by canning or freezing.

Last week, canning pork.

This week, blueberries.

Next week, I'm thinking strawberries.  We're out of strawberry jam, and frozen strawberries are sooo good in smoothies.

That is, unless our apricots have ripened.  Then, the family will be out picking the tree and canning apricots.

After that, plums, then peaches, then tomatoes, then.....

Ahh, you've got to love summer!

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