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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, July 06, 2006

berry good

It was a good day; in fact it was a berry good day. Many, if not most, of the blueberries have ripened and all they needed is someone to pick them. The picker, being distracted by other obligations, was a little slack in this part of his labor. But the evening before, he had broken loose from his lethargy and did a full frontal attack on the berry-picking project.

First let me give a little background on the origin of the residents of the patch. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 plus years ago I purchased two each of five different varieties of blueberry bushes from our friendly neighborhood plant nursery. These were planted in two rows on the slope below the veggie garden. Included in these were three plants from the old home place in Mississippi.

Then about a year or so later, my older brother brought some more sprouts from his bushes. The number of bushes topped out at 21. Over the years a few of these have expired for unknown reasons and have been replaced with sprouts from the others. These are still my main producers, but the ones planted down one side of the driveway and also on the bedroom end of the house are growing and starting to produce as well.

The labor on the morning of reference was to inspect and cull the previously picked berries and bag them for freezing and later consumption. The ones culled would be the over-ripe, the split, bird-pecked and the extreme runts. The berries come in all sizes due to the variety and/or the weather and/or the moisture/nutrition they receive. If one buys the berries in the supermarket, they are usually graded as to size, with the larger going to the fresh or frozen market and the smaller going to flavor some product such as cereal or cereal bars – some supposition on my part here.

Since I don’t have machinery to do the culling and sizing, it is done by hand. Basically they are all run through my hands, with the rejects tossed and good ones bagged, no matter the size, since they are all tasty. The bags of storage are quart-sized Zip-Loc freezer bags and that type container works very well for me. The tally now, as of the 5th, is 40 bags already in the freezer with more to come.

The blessings of the Lord sometimes come in small, round, juicy berry sizes. ec


Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

So right. I had some berry sized blessings this afternoon after a morning that seemed far from blessed.

7/06/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

I think I may still have one loaf of blueberry bread in the freezer. Toast?

7/06/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

I had to come to Wisconsin to learn about blueberries. Now,of course, I love them.
And now, Dean can't have them, so I get very few.
So, you and your spice, enjoy them for me.
Betty G

7/07/2006 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Me Eddie ~~ Sounds delicious and
you have a nice supply, with more to come I guess. That is a job that I wouldn't mind knowing the tasty treats ahead. Thanks for your comments but
it would be hard to have a conversation with that farmer!!
Take care, Merle.

7/07/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We've had some strawberries lately, but they're almost done, I'm afraid. Who knows about blueberries, but I do love blueberry pie.

7/07/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - The blessings are good, no matter what the size. :)

granny - That sounds good to me, I like blueberries in every form.

boopchile - It is an odd thing but the Spice doesn't care for them much - go figure.

merle - The berry labor definitely does have its later rewards - yum.

AC - Blueberry pie with ice cream, blueberry cobbler with ice cream or just blueberries with ice cream - could it be that I just like the ice cream? ec

7/07/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Blueberries are a big thing here, and we have them almost every day. I've never picked them, though.

7/07/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Today, my blessings came in the size and shape of my twin sis, who spent 4 hours practicing the song we're singing for our Aunt's wedding tomorrow.

Blueberries sound fantastic right now. I am going to have some with my cereal in the AM.

Happy Weekend!!!!!

7/07/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - I picked berries about half the day today. Have to get them before they fall off - it will be worth it during the winter.

jayleigh - Hope the wedding goes well. I eat blueberries on my cereal almost every morning. ec

7/08/2006 12:49:00 AM  

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