Opening day at the blueberry farm
This is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year: opening day at the blueberry farm. This is a beautiful and secluded farm with approx. 3,500 blueberry bushes.
It has a designated handicap access row as well. We usually pick upwards of 30 lbs of berries every year for fresh eating, making jam and freezing for blueberry pies throughout the year. The blueberries were blue, crowds were few, and it wasn't even raining. The berries tasted great and we settled in for a few focused hours of picking and eating.
After a couple hours, we recognized another devotee who gave a stern warning: Watch out for maggots. WHAT!? Gross. Then he showed us a berry with a tiny hole
which, when opened, revealed a little, white, disgusting maggot.
For more on the blueberry maggot (or blueberry fruit fly), read this info from the U of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Yes, it was true. Blueberry day was ruined. We started to pick again, but slower now, and no eating handfuls of berries. Barely registering 10 lbs of fruit, we quietly headed home to sort through them all and put the safe ones in the freezer, calculating silently how many maggots we had eaten that morning.
The chickens, on the other hand, loved the rejects, probably wondering who could have thought of such a delectable treat as a blueberry sheathed worm. This had to be something specifically created for them.
Just when you think you've found a fool-proof, pest proof, disease proof enterprise, along comes a maggot to bring things to a sudden halt. Farming is a tough business. Dave, the vegetable and fruit farmer down the street, reported yesterday that his crops have been hailed on several times this year, lettuce is rotting in the field, tomatoes aren't ripening because there hasn't been enough sunshine, 5 acres of pumpkins which should contain 40,000 lbs of fruit have almost none, and bees aren't pollinating because it has been so rainy. And, worst of all, he can't wait for this year to be over. Support your local farmer! The least we can do is buy the stuff that is growing this year. Click here to find a farmer's market near you.
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Posted by Mary Ellen at August 21, 2008 6:30 PM