06 June 2012

Blueberries, etc.!

Whew, a busy day today!  I started out by going up to the produce auction up by Dinky's.  The auctions are being held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday right now.  There are dozens of Amish growers bringing in a wide variety of produce--greenbeans, tomatoes, new potatoes, zucchini, raspberries, and much more.  I was looking for some raspberries in a quantity that I could use for a batch of wine, but they were going for $1.50 a pint and more; more than I wanted to pay.  So, I Jeeped home and Patti and I headed off to Illinois to pick blueberries.  After the half hour or so drive, we arrived at the Benson Blueberries farm.  I was extremely impressed with the operation.  Friendly, laid back, and blueberries galore!  We were guided to a short row of bushes that were fairly dripping with berries.  In no time, we had picked about two and a half gallons.  The berries are sold by the pound ($2.00 per pound) there and we picked fifteen pounds of berries.  It was a good outing with picture post card weather, cool temperatures, and a great location.  And we got to eat berries while we picked!!  A win-win for us!

Acres and acres of berries like these! 
The lady who took us out to the patch in the golf cart shuttle told us that they grow Blue Ray, Blue Crop, and Jersey as three of their most important varieties.  Some of these berries were huge!  We got them home and spread them on cookie sheets and put them in the deep freeze.  Once they got good and hard, we bagged them in quart freezer bags and put them back in the freezer.  We will keep that up until they are all frozen and bagged...except for a few we kept out to eat with our yogurt.  Patti also had me print out a recipe for a blueberry cobbler.  Life is good!

This is a LARGE mixing bowl!
Later in the afternoon, we went over to the home place and did some bush-hogging.  Jordan and Erin are having some friends get together for a camp out on the ridge, so we went over to mow a camp site, stack some firewood, and generally prepare the place for them.  The field hasn't been mowed for a couple of years, so it was getting pretty wooly.  I was glad we had gotten the tractor repaired in time to do this.

 It was a busy day...but a very good day.  We are blessed.

Yesterday evening, I got fed up with the birds eating our fledgling crop of raspberries, so I worked on what I hope is a remedy.  I took a couple of old CDs, some fishing line, a couple of fishing swivels and a drill and made the device shown below.  Hung from a shepherd's crook, the slightest breeze causes the discs to move and turn and flash.  I will probably have to move it up and down the row every few days, but it seems to have worked well today.

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