Blueberry Picking with Indentured Servants

After picking, washing, and bagging 68 pounds of blueberries, I now have at least a 6 month supply safely in my freezer. Of course I can’t fit anything else in there, but my family full of blueberry freaks are happy.

Berry Picking is the Perfect Family Activity

Berry picking with my family is one of my favorite traditions every summer. Not only does it save me over twice as much for something we eat every day, it is an actual organized activity and an answer to “what are we going to do today?”

blueberry-picking Don’t get me wrong, mostly I look forward to the lazy days of summer. The kids sleep in a little later and we aren’t on such a rigid schedule. And no morning carpool means no bra until I feel like going for my run….whenever.

Now that we are at the summer midway point, though, the novelty is wearing off a bit. At least once each day, I hear the bored word which is often followed up by an unreasonable request to go somewhere crazy like Chuck E. Cheese. Sure, right after I get my lobotomy. It’s not your birthday, kid. And even if it were, I’d try and talk you out of it.

I’m cool with the library, hiking, or even swimming a couple of times a week, but even that can get old. Berry picking is something different that everyone gets a little excited about because they love berries and forget they don’t actually enjoy the activity.

This year we turned a corner with our berry picking – the kiddos were actually productive. Usually it only takes about 10 minutes before the complaining to begin. This year, my little worker bee’s surprised me. I never had to crack one whip or threaten to withhold all popsicles until summer’s end. They produced.

Tips for Berry Picking

    • Bring water, it’s hot out there and you don’t want your troops quitting because they’re a little thirsty.  
    • Make sure you let your pickers eat as they go to keep their energy levels up. If you feel guilty add another pound to your total at checkout (I did). I still figured it was a cheaper lunch for my family than grazing at Costco kiosks and I didn’t have to bring home a box of 250 maxi pads.
    • Just like a long trip, use the bathroom before you go. There might be port-o-potty’s, but it is usually a long hike out to the picking fields.
    • Trick an extra kid into coming along. I let my kid invite a friend to spend the night. If I have to feed an extra kid, I might as well put her to work. 
    • Wear sunscreen and protective clothing. I suggest closed toe shoes.
    • Check Craig’s list for hours and compare prices. Our blueberries were $1.00/lb and the next farm over were selling their for $1.50/lb. When you’re picking 68 lbs, it adds up.
    • Bring enough containers to transport your blueberries home. The farm will usually provide pre-weighed bucket to pick your berries, but you’re on your own to get them home. Since I didn’t anticipate picking so many berries and our pockets weren’t big enough, I had to call my father-in-law to bring me additional containers. 
    • Blueberry playlist – Judging by some of the questionable lyrics I heard come out of my daughter’s mouth, I’m thinking Ke$ha or Lady Gaga makes for productive picking.


  • Clean and freeze them right away. You didn’t work that hard for ant food.

Blueberry picking is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy together. If you play your cards right and implement some of my picking strategies you may have enough berries  to sprinkle on your greek yogurt or throw on your pancakes for a year. Unless, you have blueberry freaks like I do, and then you’re only good for about 6 months. 

Do you go berry picking with your family?

Category: Fuel

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Kristin

    We rock at strawberry picking. We attempted raspberries yesterday and we wilted after about 15 minutes. If you can believe I forgot to bring water. On the way home we agreed we would opt out of raspberry picking from now on.
    But there’s a blueberry patch by us and I’m willing to give that a try.
    My freezer is packed too.

  • Poppy ,

    We’re lucky in that my mother-in-law has a huge strawberry patch so the kids just pick and pick when they go to visit. As for raspberries, definitely not as pleasant!
    Poppy recently posted…Blueberry Picking with Indentured ServantsMy Profile

  • vanita ,

    every year before halloween we say we’re going apple picking. never happens. blueberry picking would be awesome. half of our crew loves blueberries. i can tolerate them but i think i’d like them more if they weren’t from the local grocer. maybe organic? these tips are awesome. thanks for sharing mama.
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  • Poppy ,

    I never have to pick apples, pears, plums, and other tree fruits myself because my in-laws have an orchard. However, I always have to figure out something to do with them. (I don’t like plums).
    Poppy recently posted…Blueberry Picking with Indentured ServantsMy Profile

  • Jennifer ,

    My kids love frozen blueberries so much I think they could probably finish off those 68 pounds in about a month. And have you priced these things at the store. Holy moley they are expensive. We have a local farm, but they do their picking closer to spring. I need to do that next year.
    Jennifer recently posted…Make Time To ExerciseMy Profile

  • LindySez ,

    Here in Sonoma county there are so many places to pick apples, pears, and blueberries for a fee, but if you can beat the birds to them, the wild blackberries that grow along the river and our hiking trails are awesome. I’ll have to find something with plums that I know you’ll love :-)
    LindySez recently posted…Simple Chilled Cucumber SoupMy Profile


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