Mid-July is the time for local blueberries and this year we were able to go out and pick nearly 13 pounds of fresh, organically-grown Michigan blueberries! We rented a blueberry bush from a place called Joe's Blues and they guarantee that you will get at least 12 pounds from your bush. This past weekend we took a mini vacation just around the lake to go see our bush and take from it every ripe berry we could find.
These are a high bush variety that are nearly 60 years old! I hope to be this productive when I get to be that age :-)
The day was lovely, sunny and a bit hot so after we packed up our bounty, we headed to the little downtown area to grab a bite to eat and followed that with a short trip to the beach.
Being an East Coast girl, Lake Michigan has always creeped me out just a little bit. It's so huge and ocean-like, but it's not the ocean. I just get confused and a little disturbed, which is probably why this was actually my first time ever touching this lake. I know, I've lived near the lake for almost 8 years now and have never even dipped a toe in. I guess it took a blueberry high and the beauty of Michigan to convince me! I was still confused though since my first thought when we chose our beach spot was that we would have to move soon if the tide was still coming in. To me 'beach' will likely always mean 'ocean.'
No beautiful summer vacation would be complete without a bite or two of ice cream so that was our last stop before heading home.
Almost a week later, we're still working on getting all those blueberries into the freezer - we finally ordered our deep freezer and it comes tomorrow. Between the cherries and the blueberries and hopefully soon some peaches and possible 1/4 of a cow ... well, we're going to need it!
As I said in my cherry post, we've decided to freeze because it's simple, stores produce close to peak nutrition and you can use it months in the future for most of the same purposes as fresh. We realize we're using up electricity to keep our goods frozen and that we're in some trouble if we lose power for an extended period of time (although I would imagine being city apartment dwellers that this may not be as likely for us as for others) but dehydrating would probably be our next ideal option and we don't have a dehydrator yet, so we'll wait.
For now, we are overflowing with delicious, little blueberries. This experience only compounds my desire to grow fruit on our own property some day - we got 13 pounds in one day from one bush - just imagine the possibilities! Fruit growing can be challenging work, but oh how rich you feel when you run your hands through pounds of fresh berries! Such extravagance.