My supporting local farmers and gardeners has taken a step beyond going to the local farmer’s market. This week I’ve gone out into the country to pick berries. Tuesday, I picked blackberries in a patch of thornless bushes. It was easy. The berries were huge and accessible. In an hour I had picked almost two gallons of the sweet berries. I forgot to take my camera, so I can’t show the patch or the setting. But, here is a shot to show just how large some of the berries were.

I went to a blueberry patch today. Once I turned off the highway, it was so picturesque. I went down a hill to a little bridge across a brook, then up a winding single lane gravel road. Up,up,up it went through gardens, flowers, and orchards, past quaint little houses that hugged the hillside.
All the time following little numbered signs that counted down until you entered a large orchard and found this leanto where I got my picking bucket and instructions on where to pick. Note the bluetick hound dog, little kids, grandma, the kayak on the roof,etc.

I found the row where I was to pick and starting filling my special picking bucket which hung around my neck by a string. This is so you can use both hands to pick.

Picking blueberries is not hard, but it is slow work. Blueberries are pretty small and to fill your bucket takes a lot of berries, even when they are thick on the bushes.

At last after close to two hours of steadily picking while visiting with other pickers, I had enough for one day. Here’s my full gallon bucket and my empty picking bucket.

As I paid for my haul, the woman who owns Grandfather Mountain Orchard said to remember I didn’t have to wash the berries; they aren’t sprayed. I didn’t see a single bug except for a bee on any of the berries where I was picking. Nice to know I didn’t poison myself while sampling the wares.