A short hike up a little mountain you can find a
blueberry paradise; a great place for friends, appreciation of nature, and revelations.
I was invited to go blueberry picking on a little mountain I had never gone up before. With some awesome lady friends, I was on a mission to pick some berries. The hike is short, maybe ten minutes to the top at an average pace, with natural stairwells leading the way. Once at the top, the view is magnificent. I often forget how beautiful our mountains are. Moments like the one I had as I reached the top help to remind me how the world has formed perfectly and how lucky we are to inhabit it. I sat down and took in the view for a few minutes silently expressing my gratitude to the Universe.
When I had said my thanks, I ventured down to where my friends had discovered some blueberries. I was not prepared for the vast sea of blue I was about to encounter just over the top of the mountain. I’m talking thousands of blueberries ripe for the picking. Imagine that, on my first blueberry outing, I hit the jackpot! Finding a good spot with big clusters was easy. It took a few minutes to perfect my picking technique and once that happened I was hooked. I decided to declare my worn out hiking pants my blueberry picking pants and sat down in the middle of the giant cluster I was working on. I picked straight through the early morning. By the time we decided to go back down the mountain I had picked 4 cups of blueberries and stained the ankles of my socks blue.
After little contemplation I decided to go back up the mountain that same afternoon accompanied by my friend, my brother, and my boyfriend. Along for the ride were my friend’s two dogs, my brother’s dog, and my dog. My friend’s two dogs are blueberry picking professionals and can pick berries right off the bush. My dog prefers to nap in a shady spot and my brother’s dog likes to charge through the bushes to be close to her people. The second trip up the mountain yielded a bucket of blueberries, some of which ended up being offerings for the birds in the end. A lesson learned: you should only pick as many as you can sort out within a few days.
A third trip was made a couple days later. (What can I say? I’m addicted to picking blueberries.) Again some good friends and our furry companions hustled up the mountain for its blue offerings. More fun was had seeing the massive amounts of deliciousness that we could collect. My friend offered to teach me how to make blueberry jam and I excitedly accepted. I want to be a homesteader someday so making jam is on my list of things to learn. It turns out that making jam is pretty easy and fun! It can get a little messy but that’s definitely part of the fun.
I had a revelation during the trip down the mountain with my containers full of berries:
This is what it’s about. Why buy pints of blueberries when you can pick them yourself. All it takes is a little time out of the day. The action itself is relaxing and meditative. It feels natural to hunker down amongst the bushes and do it yourself. You are proud and more appreciative of your food when you grow it, harvest it, preserve it, and prepare it yourself. It that tastes much better when you put in a little effort. It's also satisfying to know where it came from and how it was cared for before it ends up on your plate. In short, the revelation was:
If you can, do it yourself.