I told them to look for the bluest, and leave the pink or green ones on the bush to ripen, so they examined each blueberry before picking it.
They soon discovered with glee that the fattest round treasures were underneath the leaves.
They got competitive to see whose cup could fill the fastest. They scouted all the branches as they leaned into each shrub, looking for the best selections.
One got excited to see that a berry he had picked had a little green worm sticking out of it! It was actually the stem, still attached, so he was a little deflated about that.
Then it happened. "Aunt Laurrie, can I eat one?" "Yes."
"Right off the bush?" "Go ahead."
Children hide nothing. The delight of a sweet, tangy blueberry (mine are a little tart), warm from the sun, lit up his entire face. It tasted good, it came from a plant right in front of him and you didn't have to go to the store to get it.
My four blueberry bushes are in a garden right off the patio. Later we picked the harvest from the first year vaccinium plants that I planted just this spring out in the meadow. Tall grass and weeds engulfed the boys out there, making it seem like they were hacking through a jungle, so that was a lot of fun too.
Then Jim gave them rides around the yard on his riding lawnmower.
Years from now, when these guys are young men, they will get nostalgic one day when they see pint baskets of blueberries for sale at a farmer's market, and tell someone about the day they ate blueberries that they picked themselves in the hot sun out there at the old folk's farm.
I just don't get what's going on this year. First my strawberry bonanza, now the blueberry boom, after having almost no production for the four or five years that these plants have been in my garden. Barely a berry in past years, and what did ripen was eaten by birds or animals.
This year I did not cover the strawberries and I am not netting the blueberries, yet not a single fruit is touched. I go out every day and haul in bowls of berries. This was breakfast today (I know, it looks like dessert), and it is only what I got off two of the shrubs while the coffee brewed.
After breakfast I had to go out and pick the other bushes too. I'll share with the neighbors, and freeze some and eat all I want, but I need more small boys to come pick blueberries for me -- so if you know one send him over!