“This is as good as blueberry picking gets.”
“I’ve never seen it better than this.”
“This is a 10.”
These are snippets I heard from veteran pickers as I pulled blueberries off one of the U-pick bushes at DeGrandchamp’s Blueberry Farm in South Haven, Michigan.
I had asked for one bucket, but the moment I saw the branches drooping under the weight of about a billion fat berries, I knew I would need more.
Like a kid at an Easter egg hunt, as soon as the bushes came into view, I had the urge to run, to grab, to call dibs and claim my turf. “This row is mine! I called it!” I wanted to shout. But there was no need for such measures. There were more berries than an army could pick.
“You got a belt on?” asked Steve from Milwaukee, who’s been picking berries for 70 years. “See? I hook the bucket right on my belt so I can pick with two hands.”
Sadly, I had no belt.
“Maybe we can get you a rope—you can hang the bucket around your neck.”
Soon, equipped with said rope, I was in business, grabbing a branch with one hand and tickling berries off it with the other. Plunk, plunk, plunk, into the bucket they dropped.
Two hours later, with three full buckets equaling 17 pounds, I forced myself to stop.
This is a great year for blueberries, and DeGramdchamp’s is a great place to pick, based on the number of return pickers I met. At $1.70 a pound, you can’t beat it.
Stop in their gift shop for jars of blueberry jam, blueberry butter, blueberry BBQ sauce, blueberry salsa, dried blueberries, blueberry scones and muffins, blueberry syrup, blueberry honey… you get the idea.