Foraging Backyard Blueberries

 

High Bush Blueberries.

This month, I’ve gone out and picked wild highbush blueberries from my Blueberry Grove a few times, at the back end of my field.  They are challenging to get to, with a bum knee and ankle, and uneven ground with lots of ground cover (which was only tractor mowed before the last venture back), but I used my LL Bean hiking pole (I keep one by the back door, and one in the car), went slowly, and it was fine.

foraging, blueberries

Wild highbush blueberries

We were talking blueberries at the local Sunday coffee café (only open for about two hours on Sundays, at the Senior Center, but all ages encouraged), and one fellow mentioned the time he and his father went wild blueberry picking.

foraging, blueberries

Blueberry Grove, with the largest bush in front. You can see at least one more behind, to the left. Blueberries like somewhat mushy ground, at least in spring.

Highbush blueberry bushes can grow into the size of small, and wide, trees, with foliage for the full height of the tree.  He assumed his father was on the other side of the tree, picking, and wondered why his father wasn’t responding to comments or questions, although the tree was obviously moving and being picked from the other side.  So… he walked around the tree… and discovered a black bear there, picking away.

He left his nearly-full container of berries… and ran.

Well, no such problem for me today — and since I was going to be the only human around, if the shrub/trees started moving… I didn’t plan to investigate.

So anyhow, I got enough to make gluten-free blueberry buckwheat pancakes!  Many are not yet ripe, either, so there will be more trips back – besides,  I only hit up the nearest bush.  My recipe from 2016 is found earlier in this blog, check here Only thing, no one close enough by had buttermilk, and I wasn’t going to drive an hour’s round trip to get to a real supermarket – so I subbed whole milk.  Buttermilk is better.  But in a pinch!

foraging, blueberries, buckwheat pankakes, high bush blueberry

A mixture of my highbush blueberries and some local commercial-style blueberries, cooking in buckwheat pancakes.

Got back to the house, did a massive Tick Check (none seen) as the chickens don’t range that far.

Wild highbush blueberries seem to have a more concentrated flavor than the supermarket or your typical “pick your own” lowbush varieties – although I suspect the “pick your own” are going to be nearly as good, because you know they are as fresh as the day you picked them.  They are definitely smaller – concentrating in that goodness?? – and not as juicy, but certainly not dry either.

foraging, blueberries

Your familiar blueberries next to the foraged highbush. They taste pretty much the same but the bigger ones are juicier. The little stems on some of the foraged I don’t bother picking off.

They fruit best if they are pruned in late March up until mid April, but we still had snow out there until then, so I didn’t prune this year.  My knee was definitely NOT ready for that then anyway!  Since this is the first year I’ve been up here full time since purchasing the property, I admit I’ve only pruned them once during that duration — about seven or eight years ago.  (I was pretty limber then, relatively speaking! And there was no snow late March then either.)

Blueberries are also great in yogurt, used with cheesecake, or plain ole eaten straight up!  Yesterday a friend told me about freezing them (freeze them on a single sheet, then bag them once frozen so they don’t ALL stick together), melting dark chocolate in a double boiler, and pouring them over the frozen berries – to create a dark shell around bits of berry goodness!  I will have to try this!

Rooster, broiler, chicken, foraging

So… where’s MY share of the blueberries?? Eh??

Well, we’re over at Fiesta Friday once again!   Hosted this week by  Antonia @ Zoale.com and Lathi @ From Lathi’s Kitchen .

And, back to Homestead Blog Hop, where we delve into things homestead-worthy.

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About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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13 Responses to Foraging Backyard Blueberries

  1. How fun, Diann! I like to forage in my own backyard, too, but it’s only half an acre and there isn’t a whole lot to forage. I have 4 blueberry bushes but the birds seem to think they belong to them!

  2. Antonia says:

    How wonderful! I would love to have blueberries in my backyard. I have never thought of pouring melted chocolate over frozen blueberries, wow! Thank you for sharing with us over at Fiesta Friday!

  3. petra08 says:

    I have never seen highbush blueberries! They look amazing! I used to go foraging in Sweden but they were always small bushes and after a while it got quite back breaking, but always worth it. Your pancakes looks great and am glad no bears around! 🙂

    • I think these bushes are native to New England, so you are not likely to see them in Sweden, and especially since the berries are smaller. (Although just as good.) Regards the bears… we do have them. My plan for having bird feeders out on the deck will wait until hibernation season!

  4. Pancakes with blueberries are the favorite in my family!

  5. homeandharrow says:

    Just found you via the Homestead Blog Hop. Excited to read more!

  6. Kelly Cable says:

    Lol! I think I’d ditch the berries and run for it if I saw a bear too. Thanks so much for sharing with us on the Homestead Blog Hop. Hope to see more this Wednesday 🙂

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