Blueberry Picking Tips

Are you interested in picking your own blueberries?  Follow these tips to make your trip worthwhile:

Plan Ahead

Before your go picking, you’ll want to do the following things:

  • Call ahead to confirm berries are ready and to determine the picking hours
  • Plan to go early in the morning.  If you can, go as soon as they open.  You’ll have a better selection of blueberries, since the bushes won’t be picked over.
  • Wear old clothes because you might get a blueberry stain.  It usually comes out in the wash, but just in case…

Things to Bring

  • A small container with a string – It’s easier to pick blueberries with a plastic bucket hanging around your neck.  This is simple to make at home.  You’ll need a clean plastic container the size of a coffee can.  Make two holes in each side and attach string or yarn.  Some farms even provide these buckets, so ask when you call.
  • Water – You’ll be thirsty after picking.
  • Cash – Many small farms do not have credit card machines.
  • A change of shoes: I prefer to wear old sneakers.  Sometimes, over-ripe blueberries fall off the bushes.  They are usually on the ground, and are easy to step on while you are picking.  You may also want to bring a change of shoes.  If you step on a berry, you won’t want to track it into your car.
  • Clean up supplies:  Baby wipes or wet face cloth in plastic bag.  You will want to clean your fingers after picking.

In the field

Usually, only certain sections are open.  Try to pick a bush that no one has picked yet.  It will make picking much faster, and berries are usually larger since they aren’t picked over.

Since you pay by the pound, you’ll want to pick clean.  That means, do not pick the stems.  Pick the blueberry where the stem meets the berry.  Leave the whole stem behind.  You only want the blueberry in your bucket.  No stems.

Be sure to look on the very top and underneath of each blueberry bush.  Many people simple pick along the middle of the bush where you can easily see the berries.  By looking at the top and underneath, you’ll find lots of berries.

It’s okay to eat a few blueberries while you are there.  After all, you want to know if the berries are sweet and tasty.  Just don’t overdo it. 🙂

After you finish picking

You’ll want to get the blueberries home and into the refrigerator.  I like to transfer mine into a colander, so that there a few holes to allow air in. I also cover the top of the colander loosely with plastic wrap.  This keeps anything from falling into the blueberries.

Enjoy your blueberries!  There’s nothing quite like eating fresh, local blueberries.  🙂

Here are a few additional articles you may enjoy reading:

Summer Meal Ideas

How to host a simple cookout

Time Saving Tip: Shop Local