We’re rolling in wild blueberries

The handheld rake was invented in 1910. I can’t imagine trying to pick large quantities of blueberries without it.

What’s harvested by the ton in Washington County is not just blueberries, but wild blueberries – lowbush, laced with small pellets of complex, concentrated flavor, rather than the big, juicy, cultivated highbush kind.

What grows here, I’ll argue, is tastier and richer than the more coddled kind I had previously known and even grown.

As you can see, traditional picking can be backbreaking work. But old-timers tell you it delivers better berries than the newer mechanized harvesters do.

Maine has a near monopoly in the production of the wild lowbush berries in the United States. Neighboring parts of Canada are also of note. Still, the output is only a fraction of what’s harvested from the domesticated highbush farmers in other states.

You can drive right past a blueberry barren like this and not know it’s loaded with ripe fruit.
Here’s what a stop to look reveals.
For a few weeks each spring, clusters of commercial honeybee hives are placed by the hundreds throughout the barrens. The electrical fencing is intended to keep bears out.

Just so you know.

What’s your favorite kind of berry? And your favorite way to eat (or drink) them?

3 thoughts on “We’re rolling in wild blueberries

  1. Blueberries! There was this store/cafe called Maple Valley in Plainfield, VT that had a smoothie called the “Blue Monday” (for this Gen Xer, I associated it with the New Order song) and it was blueberry and vanilla…yum!

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