Although the south is lacking in some of my favorite produce (apples, corn), berries are plentiful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the strawberry season and now blueberries are finally available. A few months ago I heard from a coworker that there are several farms in Mississippi that allow you to pick your own blueberries. Pick-your-own is a great way to get lots of fruit for a cheaper price. I anxiously waited for the blueberry season to begin.
If you read this blog regularly, then you know how much I enjoy frequenting the local farmers’ markets. I was perusing the market the other day when I came upon a blueberry stand. The farmers were sampling two different types of blueberries, which tasted slightly different but were equally sweet and full of flavor. The nice boy who handed me the blueberries explained that the farm is organic and offers pick-your-own. Where do I sign up?
So the next weekend my husband and I decided to make the 90 minute trip to the Pearl River Blues Farm in Lumberton, Mississippi. The farm is located, well, in the middle of no where. We pulled into a long driveway and at the end sat a small house and large field full of blueberry bushes. A group of people were milling around a picnic table, feeding the free roaming chickens some blueberries and watermelon rinds. The farmers/owners were very friendly and inviting. They showed us around the farm, explained how to wear the bucket carrier (kind of goes on like a backpack but with hooks in the front to hold the bucket), and walked us out to the bushes. It was explained that we could choose between four different blueberry varieties and were free to taste-test as we went along.
We both chose the Brightwell blueberries as our favorites. I felt they were the sweetest of the bunch. It took about two hours (and a few breaks from the hot sun) to collect three gallons of blueberries. Even though I was dirty, sweaty, and sunburnt by the time we were finished, picking my own blueberries was very satisfying.
Now I have three gallons of blueberries sitting in my kitchen and I need to figure out what to do with them. I will be freezing a couple gallons so I can enjoy the berries throughout the year. The other berries will go into desserts and ice creams.