Sunday, June 1, 2008

Moorhead's Blueberry Farm - A Summer Tradition

It was one year ago that we first visited this pick-your-own blueberry farm. I was very pregnant and I went with the dual objective of 1) doing something that I would not be able to do once the baby arrived and 2) trying to go into labor. My mother and husband picked about 5 pounds, while the kids and I barely got a pound all together. The kids ate most of what they picked and I just went too slow. The whole trip cost under $10 and the blueberries lasted two weeks (since I went into labor the next week, I was very thankful for all that fresh fruit ready to be eaten). For some reason now, I associate my daughter with blueberry picking, and as her first birthdy will soon be upon us, I thought it was time to go back to the farm.

We put on sandals and summer clothes and headed over right after we had eaten a good dinner. The weather was much better than I expected and some of the blueberry bushes were quite tall and shady. We decided to use the double stroller, which turned out great because the ground was mostly grassy or hard packed dirt. Once again, this was a hit with the entire family. My husband yielded the most, of course, but Child #1 is getting very good! Child #2 was still basically there for the tasting and exploring. The most difficult part was trying to teach him to discriminate between the green ones and the dark blue ones and the ones on the branches and the ones on the ground. I'm not sure he learned much, but he really enjoyed himself. The double stroller turned out to be helpful for hauling the blueberries. We strapped a full bucket into the front seat, and none of them spilled. Child #3 turned out to have quite a proclivity for them, and once she had a taste, she only wanted more. Yes, that's her hand in the photo.

Here are my tips if you plan on going, although I'm sure you old timers already know all this: Recommendation #1 - don't wear sandals and shorts like I did. I'm okay with nature, but there was way too much nature touching me. My legs had to desensitize from the flies that really liked my calves and the branches that kept poking me. Also, I ended up getting stabbed in the foot with a stick as I was walking back. Which brings me to Reccomendation #2 - don't stay past 8 pm. It gets dark and you still have to pay and get to the car. The size and uniqueness of the insects grow directly in proportion to the sun as it makes it's descent. There are bees too, so bee aware! Recommendation #3 - take a wagon and buy A LOT. Yeah, 10 pounds of blueberries sounds like a lot, but you will be surprised how quickly they disappear. The kids snack on them, put them in yogurt and cereal, the husband takes them to eat at work, and there isn't much left to bake into yummy muffins and cobblers. They are good for about two weeks in the fridge, but MUCH longer in the freezer. I don't wash them before they go in the freezer (okay to do since they do not use any pesticides) and they don't stick together at all. Recommendation #4 - be ready for baths. We were all pooped, but the dirty feet, legs and hands and the things in the hair (leaves? dirt? souveniers?) demanded attention. Recommendation #5 - when the nice man tells you to go to the end of the rows for the best picking, listen to him. We went in a bit and slowly worked our way down and the bushes just got better and bigger. Next time, we will listen though, and go straight to the end and work our way back. Recommendation #6 - bring cold drinks, you will be thirsty! If you forget, you can buy cold water for $.75 a bottle when you pay for the blueberries.
Moorhead's is off of 242 east of I45. The prices are still only $1.50/pound, and they let you use the buckets for free. They actually encourage you to taste as you pick. This actually helped me learn which blueberries were worth picking. Plus, they are open from 7am to 9pm seven days a week, so it is easy to find a time the whole family can go. The best times are in the morning or evening, so it's not too hot and sunny. They expect the picking season to last through the middle of July, and you can pay with cash or check. Check out their website here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. Nothing like getting in touch with nature. Love the comment about bugs growing in proportion to the sun going down. Its Texas! Everything is bigger!
Can't wait to pick some with you when I visit.
You know who.