After picking, washing, and bagging 68 pounds of blueberries, I now have at least a 6 month supply safely in my freezer. Of course I can’t fit anything else in there, but my family full of blueberry freaks are happy.
Berry Picking is the Perfect Family Activity
Berry picking with my family is one of my favorite traditions every summer. Not only does it save me over twice as much for something we eat every day, it is an actual organized activity and an answer to “what are we going to do today?”
Don’t get me wrong, mostly I look forward to the lazy days of summer. The kids sleep in a little later and we aren’t on such a rigid schedule. And no morning carpool means no bra until I feel like going for my run….whenever.
Now that we are at the summer midway point, though, the novelty is wearing off a bit. At least once each day, I hear the bored word which is often followed up by an unreasonable request to go somewhere crazy like Chuck E. Cheese. Sure, right after I get my lobotomy. It’s not your birthday, kid. And even if it were, I’d try and talk you out of it.
I’m cool with the library, hiking, or even swimming a couple of times a week, but even that can get old. Berry picking is something different that everyone gets a little excited about because they love berries and forget they don’t actually enjoy the activity.
This year we turned a corner with our berry picking – the kiddos were actually productive. Usually it only takes about 10 minutes before the complaining to begin. This year, my little worker bee’s surprised me. I never had to crack one whip or threaten to withhold all popsicles until summer’s end. They produced.
Tips for Berry Picking
- Bring water, it’s hot out there and you don’t want your troops quitting because they’re a little thirsty.
- Make sure you let your pickers eat as they go to keep their energy levels up. If you feel guilty add another pound to your total at checkout (I did). I still figured it was a cheaper lunch for my family than grazing at Costco kiosks and I didn’t have to bring home a box of 250 maxi pads.
- Just like a long trip, use the bathroom before you go. There might be port-o-potty’s, but it is usually a long hike out to the picking fields.
- Trick an extra kid into coming along. I let my kid invite a friend to spend the night. If I have to feed an extra kid, I might as well put her to work.
- Wear sunscreen and protective clothing. I suggest closed toe shoes.
- Check Craig’s list for hours and compare prices. Our blueberries were $1.00/lb and the next farm over were selling their for $1.50/lb. When you’re picking 68 lbs, it adds up.
- Bring enough containers to transport your blueberries home. The farm will usually provide pre-weighed bucket to pick your berries, but you’re on your own to get them home. Since I didn’t anticipate picking so many berries and our pockets weren’t big enough, I had to call my father-in-law to bring me additional containers.
- Blueberry playlist – Judging by some of the questionable lyrics I heard come out of my daughter’s mouth, I’m thinking Ke$ha or Lady Gaga makes for productive picking.
- Clean and freeze them right away. You didn’t work that hard for ant food.
Blueberry picking is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy together. If you play your cards right and implement some of my picking strategies you may have enough berries to sprinkle on your greek yogurt or throw on your pancakes for a year. Unless, you have blueberry freaks like I do, and then you’re only good for about 6 months.
Do you go berry picking with your family?