Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Plentiful Plate: Pick-Your-Own Blueberries

It's blueberry season in Maryland!  The next best thing to growing your own is picking them fresh from someone else's farm. You reap the benefits of eating locally grown, fresh fruit and skip out on a lot of the work that raising your own plants can bring.  From what I've read, blueberries can be one of the trickier plants to grow.  They need a specific pH level in the soil and some bushes can take up to three years to produce any fruit at all.  Not to mention they are coveted by beetles in the hot summer sun and beetles and I have a bit of a misunderstanding.  They think I enjoy being buzzed around and I most definitely do not.

Henry and I spent a couple of days over the holiday weekend at my parents' house.  One of my favorite things about visiting is all the food my mom sends me home with (getting back to my own house is the worst because there is so much to bring in and unpack!).  This time mom sent me home with a big bowl of freshly picked blueberries!

She had also been inspired by Ina Garten, one of her favorite chefs, to make this DELICIOUS Summer Fruit Crostata using fresh-picked blueberries, peaches, and plums.  She modified the recipe a bit by using a frozen store-bought crust instead of making one from scratch.  She said it was simple and a nice time-saver; defrost the crust and roll it out so it's a little thinner than a normal pie crust.

I'm fairly certain that my parents keep their local farm in business during blueberry season. They enjoy the time spent picking - and eating - in the field and they like to pick a few extra blueberries to freeze for later.  

21 gallons!

Mom likes to have enough to "get through winter".

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