The Red Berry Farm – If you are new to Blueberry picking you can be fooled by the blue berry that is actually still RED. If you have ever heard me joke that “this is NOT a red berry farm” chances are I was urging pickers to stay focused on true blue. I don’t want to make this too complicated but I also want you to love what you take home and unless you LOVE sour patch kids candy you probably won’t love a Red berry from my farm. So here’s 2 hints to help you identify true blue:
1.) The top of the berry (attached to the stem) is the last section to turn red to blue, so if it looks true blue at the stem, you’re probably good.
2.) When a berry is Ripe it falls from the stem easily, if its not ready, it hangs on to momma like a kindergartener on his first day of school!
Alot of experienced pickers fondle their way through the field, seriously 🙂
Why is it important?
Its important because a Red berry will never get sweet, while a Blue berry will continue to ripen and sweeten off the bush. I encourage everyone who spends the time picking a gallon of berries, to let their berries sit on the kitchen counter for 24 hours at room temp to get the blues that were a little tart to sweeten up. If you chill (fridge or freezer) you stop the ripening process and cheat yourself out of sweeter berries. You gain shelf life, but lose quality :(.
It is this very reason why most of what you get in the store is not as sweet as you would like – they care more about shelf life so they chill them right out of the field, stopping the ripening process short so they can survive the journey to the store shelf. This is why you pick your own:)