Summer is upon us. School is out, it's hot and humid, everything is lush and green from all the rain, and the blueberries are ripe (for the pickin'.)
We all got up early, piled in the car, and headed for Chmielewski’s Blueberry Farm in Hockley, TX, about 40 minutes outside of Houston. The family that runs the farm is very friendly, the berries are cheap, and they don't put any pesticides or herbicides on the bushes. My family goes every year and it's something we all look forward to as soon as the weather really starts heating up. First come the loquats, then the blackberries and peaches, and then the blueberries.
The bushes were full of plump berries and we filled our buckets in no time. Tickled those berries right into our hands (and mouths.)
What do we do with all the berries? For the first few days we shove them into our mouths by the handful. Muffins are made. Pancakes are eaten. But most of the blueberries get frozen for use throughout the year. You can flash-freeze them on a tray or just put them into a ziploc bag and stick em straight in the freezer. No need to wash them (since they are organic) and in fact washing them can make the skins tough and unpalatable.
We just used some frozen berries to flavor kombucha and make a blueberry ginger shrub.
The majority of the berries we picked last year made their way into a blueberry mead (or melomel to be exact) and now only one bottle remains, to be shared with friends sometime very soon.