Monday, June 2, 2014

Blueberry harvest #1 for Spring 2014

These are the first blueberries of the year from my blueberry bushes. The amount picked came to just over a pint. There are about a pint and a half left on the four bushes, waiting to ripen (by my estimate at least). 

I grow the Rabbiteye type of blueberry bushes. I have one each of four varieties: Climax, Tifblue, Powderblue, and Premier. This picking had some berries from all the bushes. Two of them had some berry loss when we had a very hot weekend while I was sick and I wasn't able to go out and water. Since I grow them in containers, it's important that I keep them good and watered, so missing a couple of days during a hot and dry spell was enough to cause the bushes to drop a lot of berries. 

Last year I had a big problem with birds eating the berries when they were ripe, before I had a chance to pick them. But I had a suggestion from a member of a message forum I belonged to, to put out pinwheels to scare the birds away. Well, I didn't have pinwheels, but I had colorful wind spinners that worked just fine at keeping the birds away from the berries. As well as the cherry tomatoes planted next to them. 

I was asked to make a batch of blueberry muffins, so I will be doing that for sure with half of these berries. The rest I'm going to be enjoying as-is or mixed in with some yogurt. Maybe I can find some good low-sugar and lower-carbohydrate recipes to try when the second half of the berries ripen. Maybe some kind of baked crumble with a whole grain topping and sweetened with xylitol or something? 

I'm just happy to actually have enough berries to do things with this year. The previous year the birds got them all, the year before that, the bushes were still too immature to produce much.