“Have blueberries whenever you are low – destiny  will change and you will be high”
Adam Voichester

Oh blueberry, how I love thee...

Oh blueberry, how I love thee…

One of the many (millions?) of reasons I love Oregon in the summer is an abundance of fresh, organic produce. Paul and I strive to eat a whole-foods diet that is heavy on fresh veggies, fruit, fish and meats. One day I may tell you more about it (suffice to say we weren’t always this slim and good-looking :) ), but the crutch of the matter is that we are massive foodies and simply drool and swoon over good produce. A big part of that love is buying produce that is in season because that is when it’s absolutely at its prime. I tell you folks, if you’ve never tasted the difference between store-bought greens and those plucked directly from an organic garden you simply haven’t lived.

And that goes for berries too.

One for the bucket or one for me...hmmm?

One for the bucket or one for me…hmmm?

Young blueberry bushes at Tall T Blueberry Farm

Young blueberry bushes at Tall T Blueberry Farm

Take the simple blueberry. The little purple package that’s a veritable powerhouse of healthful antioxidants. It is one of the few berries native to North America, packs a punch of vitamin C, manganese & fiber and has the added advantage that it can be easily frozen. But the real romance in blueberries lie in their delectable taste. Take a garden blueberry so very sun-ripened it literally falls off the bush and you’ll be rewarded with a natural high. You pop that little berry-gem in your mouth, the skin bursts open like a Christmas present and a sweet, intense flavor spreads across your tongue and fires off all your happy taste-buds. It’s nature’s candy and it’s healthy! OMG!!

Aaaaalmost caught her on film. That's the elusive Gunta in the bushes.

Aaaaalmost caught her on film. That’s Christina on the left and the elusive Gunta in the bushes.

We’re in the heat of blueberry season here in Oregon and the coast boasts some of the best farms where you can go and self-pick buckets of the stuff for less than $1.50 a pound. It’s a helluva deal! My local buddy Gunta knows the good stuff and proposed just such an expedition with another friend of hers earlier this week. So, one fine day after our lighthouse duties I rolled over to Coquille to join the blueberry hunt. We twisted our way through back-roads and rolling green hills ending up on a rickety (and rather precarious) bridge leading to a gorgeous farm. We were well out in the “boonies” and there were literally acres of blueberry bushes heavy with fruit in front of us. I think I might have drooled at the sight.

Christina, Gunta and I spent the next few hours buried in bushes, gabbing about life and enjoying a very berry picking. I ended up with 8 pounds of the picked stuff for only $11, with an extra 1/2 pound or so disappearing mysteriously “during” the event (honestly I can’t explain it). The ladies were rather more rule-abiding than moi but still ended up with over 9 pounds each. Pretty good going for a bunch of chatty gals.

We don’t have the freezer-space to keep any of the berries, but have been diligently munching through the box during the day with plans to make a few creative blueberry recipes including a savory duck with blueberry gastrique (on tonight’s menu). Also Paul’s neice (Alex) just came into town for a week and is helping us making a dent in the pickings. A totally tasting outing and a whole week of natural berry high. Just another great day on the Oregon coast, baby!

P.S. We picked our berries at Tall T Blueberry Farm (541-572-0768). Take Hwy42 to Myrtle Point, then turn left onto Ash street. The farm is on the rickety bridge just past Mile Post 15. There are many other U-pick farms along the coast!

The gorgeous farm

The gorgeous farm

This way to deliciousness!

This way to deliciousness!

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51 Responses to Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries!

  1. Blueberries are my favorite! I will keep the info handy for one day we will or I will do my blueberries picking in Oregon. I make scones and pies out of it. Yummy! I went blueberry picking in Alaska and I had a blast with my friend as our husbands kept watch for the Bears.

  2. Gunta says:

    Reblogged this on Movin' on and commented:
    Just in case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, here’s the story… a friend living the nomad life in her RV wrote up our adventures at a local blueberry farm. It’s been great fun introducing her to all the sweets and treats here in my slice of heaven. I was too busy picking berries to take ANY photos (if you can believe that.)

  3. Ingrid says:

    Sounds like a fabulous time….we loved to go wild blueberry picking in Northern Minnesota. Always took the dog along, as the black bears don’t like dogs. We were on their turf after all.
    I’ve been following Gunta for a long time. Keep trying for that photo!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh yeah…WILD berries. Even better and more concentrated than the farmed stuff. I’ve spotted a bunch of wild strawberry plants about a mile from our RV spot. They might already have bloomed & fruited, but I’m keeping an eye on them just in case.

      • Rowanova says:

        Yes the wild blueberries are far better than cultivated varieties. Would you like even better than that? Ok, here’s the scoop. You go hike into the high elevation areas in September (in WA state)
        And pick the high country huckleberries. UN. BE. LIEVE-ABLE. The berries are the fruit of the Gods. The juice is the nectar of the Gods. These are Thee Supreme blueberries/huckleberries. They simply do not get any better than this in a good year.

        As a footnote: in horticulture all blueberries and/or huckleberries are of the genus Vaccinium. There are many, many species. The difference between the two is actually modern marketing. Domesticated and cultivated varieties are sold as “blueberries”. The naturally occurring varieties (wild berries) are often referred to as “huckleberries”.

        As the decades wear on it seems that in many areas the term “blueberries” is being used more frequently even in description of the natural varieties. It differs some from area to area.

        The most important thing is to always remember to plan some time in the high country in late summer-early autumn. The Gods of Blue will reward you. :-)

        • libertatemamo says:

          Picking huckleberries in the high country is definitely something we want to do! Hoping to make it further north in WA next year so we can partake of some of that.
          Cheers also for the info on the genus.

  4. placestheygo says:

    We had our first Oregon fresh produce experience last year. I couldn’t believe the amount of farmers markets with amazing fruit and vegetables. It was there I became a Swiss Chard and Kale fanatic. Every three days we would buy the 6 pints of any berries you wanted. I couldn’t believe that raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries were all ripe at the same time. Lots pies and tarts were made!!

    I am drooling just thinking about your eight pounds of fresh picked blueberries:)

    Side note…forgot to tell you how much your special chocolate mousse has been enjoyed by many friends. I love having them enjoy it and THEN spilling the beans. So good!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      The farmers markets really are something else over here. Even the smallest of towns on the coast seem to have a market and the produce is all amazing. We get so spoiled during the summers!

      SO HAPPY to hear the chocolate mousse recipe is getting out and about. I’m sure most people are totally shocked when you tell them how it’s made.


  5. Love those blue berries, blackberries, Marion berries, all fresh from the farm, but we had to give up our opportunity to get ’em as fresh as you got ’em. Maybe next time in Oregon!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, it’s a shame you guys had to shoot home early. Hope everything goes well with Suzy and she heals up quickly!

  6. Jil says:

    My favorite….not here though…they have a berry like a blackberry which are good….

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sounds yummy! The blackberries are just starting to ripen over here too. Just munched through a bunch of them on the local golf course yesterday.

  7. Sherry says:

    ME too! Love the summer produce and being in a state with blueberries all over everywhere. Ours are the lowbush wild blueberries growing everywhere in Acadia National Park. What a great place Maine is. Now I know I need to spend a summer in Oregon so I can try the west coast berries too. Thanks for the tip on where to get them.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Ahhhh..wild blueberries. What a treat! I’m enjoying your blog and pics of Acadia NP. Hope to make it out there some day.

  8. Donna K says:

    We are lucky to have a wonderful blueberry farm (Bullocks) just a couple of miles from home. They are so YUMMY. We love them and tend to eat them until they cause problems (tee-hee). I am trying to be more constrained with my blueberry consumption!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I know what you mean about eating too many berries! We have a place that sells cherries just next to us (over 3 lbs for $10) and they are ridiculously good. We usually finish them in a few days….!

  9. Sheila says:

    I LOVE blueberries! Looks like so much fun! I just discovered the most delicious Yogurt, produced right here in Northern Colorado, called Noosa. They make a wonderful blueberry. If you see this brand give it a try.

  10. Amanda says:

    Oh I am so jealous right now! Eight pounds for $11 is an amazing deal. I’ve been searching for pick-your-own berry farms here in Colorado, but have yet to find any with blueberries! With every post you write I am more convinced that the best place to spend the summer is on the Oregon coast. Enjoy your bounty :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      I have to admit we’re loving all the ready produce here. Blackberries are just starting too and they grow wild all along the coast, so that’s going to be another u-pick outing…and this time for free :)

  11. geogypsy2u says:

    Oh how I miss berry picking in the PNW, blue, huckle, rasp, I eat them till purple tongued and more. Yet they barely make it home for future recipes. But that duck combo sounds fine. Watch out for berry eating bears. 😉

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s hard not to eat yourself silly while picking. No bears out here on the coast (unless Paul counts), but I’m sure they’re up in the high country.
      P.S. the duck with blueberry gastrique was amazing…out of this world!

      • libertatemamo says:

        Well…..I take back the bear comment. Just got a pic from one of my blog followers of a black bear outside his RV in Florence. So, I guess they ARE around here. There you go…learning something new everyday!!

  12. dawnbmoore says:

    Oregon blueberries are fantastic! I had the pleasure of picking 10 pounds of Marion berries this morning. Don’t know if you’ve tasted them or not–they were developed in Marion County, Oregon (Salem area) & are a cross between blackberries & raspberries! They are absolutely heavenly! Bon appetit!

    • libertatemamo says:

      There’s a place just down the road that makes a Marionberry jam, so I’ve tasted that. But I haven’t had the pleasure of picking them! Cheers for the history on where & how they were developed. I didn’t know that piece of it.

  13. footsy2 says:

    And I don’t think I have ever tasted a blueberry. They don’t grow in Africa, Spain or the UK where I have lived as far as I am aware.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hmmm..interesting. I can’t recall eating blueberries during the years i lived in the UK either, but I’ve seen them in Denmark. They are a native North American crop so it’s very possible you don’t see much of them over in Europe.

  14. heyduke50 says:

    That was a berry good blog… berry well done.

  15. LuAnn says:

    We absolutely love picking fresh berries. No blueberry farms around here but fresh strawberries and we now have blackberry and raspberry bushes starting to ripen in the garden. That is one positive I can say about our stay in the midwest, we have enjoyed many greens and other fresh vegetables right outside our door. Right now we are picking cucumbers and jalapeno peppers. Our heirloom tomato plants are heavy with fruit, just need more sun to get them to ripen. Glad to see you were able to spend some time with Gunta. One day I hope to meet her.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh yum! You guys have definitely excelled in your first summer of gardening. I think you have a good green thumb.

      • LuAnn says:

        I think I am quite sick of treating mildew, fungi, and insects. Given the wet weather here, it has been quite a task and I refuse to go about it any way but organically so there is lots of reading involved. No more gardens for me I’m afraid, just trips to the farmers’ markets. :)

  16. Mike says:

    If you like farm to shelf family made preserves try Misty Meadows Jams located about 15 minutes south of Bandon. They may offer U-pick berries also.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, know them well. In fact they brand a version of their jam especially for the lighthouse. So I sell it too! Always enjoy the tastings at that shop.

  17. bayrider says:

    This is good news, we have blueberries every single day blended in with our whey protein and coconut milk shakes. We are leaving Shasta County CA tomorrow for the OR Coast (it’s about 110 out right now and will be 100+ every day this week) and are definitely going berry picking!

    From the looks of you two l would hazard a guess that you are Paleo type eaters. This website totally changed our diets and lives for the better, now in our late 50s we are in better shape, leaner and lighter than we were in our 30s:


    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, you nailed it. Went Paleo several years back and Mark’s Daily Apple was one of the first sites we found. Going gluten-free, in particular, was pretty life changing for me.

      You’ll drive by quite a few u-picks on the coast. There’s another huge one down by Langlois which we haven’t tried yet. Also the local farmers market (every Fri and Sat in Bandon) sells heaps of them. If you make it to our lighthouse come by and see us!


  18. Cheryl says:

    I love blueberries, but it’s the marionberries of Oregon I’m CRAZY for to enjoy! Lovely summer fun! :-)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Marionberries are pretty special. I’ve tasted the jam many times, but never the original berry. Wonder if I can find a u-pick around here?

  19. Tamara says:

    Nina, thanks to this post, I was on the lookout today while hiking the dunes here in Winchester Bay, and we found something very, very close . . . Salal berries. They look and taste very similar to blueberries, but are apparently very slightly different. Regardless, we’ll be eating scads of them over the next few days, because I picked a whole bagful rather impromptu!

    What a gorgeous day it was here in Oregon today! We spent the entire day outside hiking, and now have the wind burned faces to show for it!

  20. We would pick the wild blueberries along a path in northern WI. There is truth to the taste of them. Yum.


  21. Oregon berries are all great, with blueberries at the top of the list. But Marionberries and huckleberries are wonderful as well. Hopefully you’ll be there for the cranberry season. Fresh cranberries from one of the Bandon bogs are unbelievably great.

  22. Blueberries are heaven-sent! This summer around Oregon the cherries are also bountiful and super-sweet, if a little late, esp. Bings. Marion berries are fabulous, but we didn’t run into any on our last trip. Blueberries, I’ve read, have lots of iron and if I eat a whole basket, my body, er, gets sluggish–iron can constipate in larger quantities, so I try to eat a basket of cherries with every basket of blueberries

    • libertatemamo says:

      A basket of blueberries followed by a basket of cherries…utter delight! I can see the sense in that 😉

  23. […] all the above. We have a large Friday/Saturday farmers market every week right in town, excellent u-pick berry farms all around and even a fabulous veggie spot just south of us. We usually buy for a week or two at a […]

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