Saturday, July 14, 2012

an embarrassment of riches

Yes, it's a cliché but I have never in my long, long life picked so many blueberries in so little time. As I stood this morning, surrounded by obligingly high-bush shrubs (it's nice not to have to bend over), I felt flustered by the abundance.

When we moved here, 19 years ago, we were thrilled to find ourselves in blueberry country. They were everywhere, obligingly ripening over a month's time (usually mid-July through mid-August, but everything is early this year). In the swamp, the schoolyard, the woods, we find different varieties that ripen at different times to different shades of blue and different degrees of sweetness. A fortunate and delicious combination.

This year I'm overwhelmed! The clusters are heavier, the berries are larger, the taste sweeter. I gathered with both hands, rolling the berries off their stems and dropping them in to the bag clipped at my waist.

And now? What to do? I have recipes for blueberry pudding, blueberry buckle, blueberry crisp. But I can't decide!

And yes, those are blackberries in the foreground. My picking ground obligingly provides multiple crops (fiddlehead fern, cattails, milkweed, and mayapple are just outside the frame). A few were ripe today, but in a week I'll have another dilemma on my hands.


At July 14, 2012 at 8:42 PM , Anonymous Laurrie said...

An embarrassment of riches indeed. I think rich dark blueberries are beautiful. I have four half high bushes (some bending, not much) and I leave three uncovered for the birds and put a net over the one for me. It means I only get a cupful every few days, but oooh.

How wonderful that you have them growing with abandon all over, and the birds don't get the berries first.

At July 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM , Anonymous Frank@nycg said...

I felt this way on a mountain in Maine last summer. I never picked and ate so many. I thought where is the wildlife?

At July 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

Shrub! Especially good use for any less-than-glorious berries. Just cover with vinegar and you'll have shrub by next weekend. (You can fridge, or sweeten, or both or neither.) Also - blueberry wine, for blueberry sangria purposes next year... And I'm thinking of turning some of my blueberry wine into blueberry vinegar.


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