Valley Bounty: Blueberries

In Wild Fruits, Thoreau calls blueberries, “that most Olympian of fruits.” It would certainly be fair to say Thoreau is sometimes hyperbolic, especially when it comes to natural elements of the New England landscape, but I’ll admit that I’m kind of a sucker for food writing with a devotional or mythical flair. And there’s something about the way that local blueberries show up at farm stands and farmers’ markets for just a brief window, often right when the summer weather is at its hottest and most oppressive, that does make them seem like something of a miracle.

Picking your own blueberries might be a little more labor-intensive than picking strawberries or apples, but the opportunity to visit a beautiful local farm and walk away with as many delicious blueberries as you can carry makes it well worth the effort, in my opinion. If you want to save a part of your berry haul for later in the year, blueberries store really well in the freezer: just spread the berries out on a cookie sheet and freeze for a couple of hours (this prevents clumping), then transfer to a zip-top bag. You can use them in pies, muffins, pancakes, smoothies, and more until fresh berries return.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)