5 Tips for Picking Georgia Grown Blueberries
As the months get hotter in south Georgia that means a lot of fruits and veggies are sprouting as well! One I’m always excited about is blueberries. Whether I use them for muffins for the office, a cobbler for Sunday dinner, a smoothie for breakfast or my personal fav, a blueberry mojito, all versions are yummy! Before setting out to pick those little purple berries of sweetness though I felt like there’s a few things you need to know and remember about south Georgia. Enjoy!
1. It’s HOT! If you’re not used to a south Georgia summer, and even if you are, pick the time you go blueberry picking very carefully. Blueberries grow best in full sun, which means people picking berries will be in full sun! Either go first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, not in the middle of the day. If you can only go during the hottest part of the day be sure to bring sunscreen, wear a hat and don’t forget that water bottle!
2. It’s Georgia! There are bugs. Anything that grows attracts bugs and potentially animals so again beware! It will be buggier (if such a word exists) at dawn and dusk, so during the cool parts of the day, again plan accordingly. Bring bug spray (we recommend the kind with DEET) and wear long pants to keep those pesky ankle biters away from your legs. Be careful for snakes too, they often wait under the bushes to catch unwary birds attempting to find an afternoon snack.
3. Wear clothes that you don’t mind staining. Georgia blueberries are known to be rather juicy, which is one of the reasons they are so sweet, so in all likelihood you will end up with stained fingers and potentially stained clothes. Don’t wear those tennis whites and think you’ll come back unscathed!
4. BYOB-bring your own bucket! Whether you are at a patch in someone’s backyard or a blueberry farm, you will need a way to transport your berries home. Trust me you can only hold your shirt up so high to cart the berries before indecency occurs.
5. Remember to pick high and low! Most people pick what is right in front of them, so at eye level. Some of the best berries are actually inside the bush, closer to the trunk of the bush and really low to the ground or really high above your head where the sun can reach them.
One last word of advice…ripe berries tend to just roll off, so if you roll the berries between your thumb and the palm of your hand, the ripe ones should easily fall off. To store fresh berries that you’re going to use soon it’s best to keep them in shallow containers so that they don’t get bruised and to not wash them until you are ready to use them. To freeze you want to wash, spread them on a tray to dry and then freeze them on the trays before putting them in bags. This keeps them from sticking.
Now with all of that in mind lol if you want to pick berries here in Liberty County, Brewer’s Christmas Tree & Blueberry Farm is ready for you! They are open Monday-Saturday from 7am-7pm, it’s $6 per gallon bucket, $1.50 per quart. And then guess what….grape season starts! Yummy!
-Leah Poole, CEO of the Liberty County Chamber & CVB
The Right Blend Blog is written by three different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.