Blueberry Bulletin

Monday, July 2, 2012
When that whole made season comes around . . .

Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you, to stop what you're doing and listen. . . . 

Ripe blueberries!

Considering how very early the ice went out this spring, I wasn't exactly surprised to learn a couple weekends ago that people were already finding ripe blueberries on the trails around these parts. But just because I wasn't surprised doesn't mean that it isn't crazy early for there to be ripe blueberries in northern Minnesota. Usually I figure on picking my first quart or two of blueberries around July 20.

If you're a long time reader of this blog, you know in the past years I've moved up the ranks as a berry-picking fanatic blueberry picker. You know you're a true berry picker when you measure your berries in gallons rather than cups, pints, or quarts. Over the last two summers, I've picked approximately 7 gallons of berries each year.

Honestly, I'm not feeling quite up to the challenge this year. Seven gallons of berries a year is a lot, you guys and I'm struggling to wrap my head around the idea that berry season is already upon us. (Is it just me or did June absolutely whooooosh by?!)

Maybe it's because I know the picking will likely be the hardest it's been in years. Between the super early/really dry spring, followed by a gully-washing start to the summer, the poor berry bushes don't know which end's up. As a result, the fruit set is spotty this year. While I'm sure there are plenty of patches loaded with berries, I'll have to scramble up granite cliff faces and over pokey, burnt trees to access them. Just thinking about it makes me feel a little tired. *yawn*

Granted, we hardly need 7 gallons of blueberries. We still have about a cup of frozen berries in the freezer, plenty of dried berries to zip up oatmeal and granola bars, and one quart jar of pie filling left over from last year. Of the 7 gallons I picked last year, a good 2.5+ gallons were given out to family members and friends.

After all, this is supposed to be fun, a pleasant pastime if you will. But in the past few summers, I've attacked the berry patches with such aggressive determination that it's started to feel like summer labor.  So this year, I think I'll take it easy when it comes to berry picking. I'll do it as long as I'm having fun. I'll be less motivated by quantity.

That said, something tells me I'll lose my current berry picking ennui once the humidity cracks and temperatures dip below the low 90s and high 80s.

Watch berries, here I come!



  1. I know what your saying about the berries being early. I found some ripe wild blueberries in the yard over the weekend. Then yesterday, I went to the farm and picked 8 quarts of highbush blueberries. Simple amazing! Blueberries a plenty for the 4th of July!

  2. What about beer drinking blueberry picking? Maybe that's your fun spin on it? :)

  3. What I wouldn't give for a gallon of your woodsy blueberries. I've never seen or tasted wild blueberries. But blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. If you're so inclined to ship a package of these to southern Minnesota...

  4. I wish I had blueberries to pick--- although I agree 7 gallons + would intimidate me! Can't wait to hear about the adventures...


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