We’ve been going blueberry picking at the same farm each summer for many years now. Traditionally, our family spends a lot of time out in those fields each year filling our buckets up with blueberries and trying to get our freezer as full as possible with them (we eat so many, after all.) If you’ve been visiting this space for awhile, you’ve likely seen many blueberry pictures taken at that farm (including the one in the banner at the top of the blog.) Usually their picking season is six weeks long, sometimes even a bit longer. This year it came and went in what felt to us like the blink of an eye. We meant to get out there, as we always do, but the time got away from us and then I got a phone call “The picking season is over because of the heat!” Say what?! We didn’t even go picking once and it was already over? Noooo!
I’ve heard a similar thing from other blueberry farms in the area as well. It’s been a hot year. The blueberries came earlier and for many, the season was short. (Those with more varieties have a longer picking season, when they all ripen at different times.) I got the news right before my dad was coming for a visit and we have a tradition to go blueberry picking together every summer, so I had to get creative. I figured that a blueberry farm I had picked at in the past, at the coast, would not be as affected by the heat. A friend that lives near there told me they weren’t open yet. I had a feeling that farm would work out somehow, and luckily, it did. My friend gave me the good news that she saw the open sign, the night before my dad and stepmom were driving up from southern Oregon. I was very happy to pass along the good news!
On Saturday we drove to Florence and got busy filling our buckets at the blueberry farm there. My stepmom looked down her row and there was a deer right by her eating blueberries! It was fun for Bracken to see the deer so close and I got a picture of it as it was running away. Bracken filled his bucket more than he ever has in the past, I was impressed with how many berries he picked! Even filling up a second bucket.It seemed like he had a bit more restraint when it came to eating the berries this year, even more than my dad. (Just kidding dad!) It was incredibly hot and we picked berries for as long as we could all stand it. Then I talked everybody into making a quick stop at the lake a few miles from there. I hadn’t packed swimsuits and just jumped into the lake with my clothes on. (I hadn’t done that since high school when we learned how to swim with our clothes on in the pool. And how to turn our jeans into a flotation device, which my dad reminded me about, and which I don’t remember how to do.) The water felt incredible! We had two firsts in one day- our first blueberry pick of the year and our first swim too. It just doesn’t feel like summer to me without blueberry picking and swimming!