It is blueberry time at the Johns’ household. Shortly after we moved to our current house my father gave me six or eight off-shoots of his blueberry bushes. There are two varieties. (“Son, you need two different kinds for them to bear good.” That may be an old farmer’s myth, but who can argue with success?) One is an old fashioned variety common to southern Georgia. It originated at my Grandpa O’Quinn’s home place. The berries are small, very dark when ripe, sweet and flavorful. The other is a more commercial variety. The berries are larger and more blue. Their flavor varies greatly from branch to branch and they can be tart or sweet. The more they are allowed to ripen on the bush the better.
Cheryl made several batches of blueberry jam yesterday and today. I have put several quarts in the freezer for cobblers throughout the year. We just love blueberries. As long as we can we keep a bowl of fresh berries in the kitchen to munch on throughout the day. (Can you say "antioxidants?" How about "Roughage?" ) Sometimes we enjoy them with whipped cream. I make a delicious fresh syrup for our Saturday morning pancakes.
My bushes are now ten to twelve feet tall; that’s a bit of a problem. It’s a grievous thing to leave clusters of plump berries hanging way up there in mid-air. But even with a ladder they are out of reach. The bushes are also about six to eight feet in diameter, just thick enough you can’t reach the ones in the middle. Those are the best ones; I know because you can hear them taunting you. “Nah, Nah, Neh, Nah, Nah. We’re here. We’re sweet, but you will never eat …us. Come on in sucker. You’ll break all the branches on your way in.” Did I mention you can get sun stroke picking blueberries?
June 28, 2010