Stan's is a great blueberry patch in the middle of nowhere. We went last year and picked a ton. It was fun. They have rope that you can tie to the bucket so that you can use both hands for picking and drop them right into the bucket. The berries rocked! The Farmer thought we picked too many, but we ran out back in November. He decided that this year we need more...
I was wondering when the berries would be ready, because supposedly berries are coming in early this year. Then this post card arrived. Yay! I tried to grow blueberries when we first moved here but I could never get the soil to be acidic enough and the plants just petered out.
We went this morning. The kid dressed for success in these boots and a purple sundress. I love her.
We arrived at 7:59 am and there were already 6 cars in the lot and people picking in the patch. It was a beautiful morning. Cool, with a breeze. The guy took us down to a part of the patch where we were pretty much by ourselves.
There were a few hiccups. The kid decided she needed to pee. Really bad. Not a porta potty in sight. We took her undies off and taught her how to squat. Boys have it so
easy. We also accidentally kicked over a bucket and had to get down on our hands and knees and pick up a few hundred berries out of the grass.
We spent $30.72 for just over 18 quarts (24 pounds). Stan's price is $1.39 a pound, but because we are on the mailing list, we got 10% off. For comparison, Wegmans has them for 2.99 a pint or $7.99 for 2 pounds. Price chopper has them advertised for $2 a pint. We saved $42, got to spend some time together outdoors, the berries are as fresh and ripe as possible, and don't have any packaging or shipping costs.
Now we get to freeze them. I've read that washing them first causes the skins to toughen. The patch had one heck of a rain storm yesterday, so I'm claiming that Mother
Nature washed them for me. What I do is dump the berries out onto a cookie sheet
and shake the sheet back and forth to get them to roll into one layer. Pick out any stems or yucky ones. Freeze them for a few hours and then you can throw the little blue marbles into a freezer bag.
This is the kind of thing that makes me really happy. I don't know why, it just does.
Got any good blueberry recipes?
Edit 7/13/11: Stan's has a website! http://www.stansberrypatch.com/ This year's postcard arrived. They open for the season on July 19th!