Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries!
“Have blueberries whenever you are low – destiny will change and you will be high”
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.
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!!
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!