I read somewhere that blueberries are the Queen of Berries. Every year at this time I am reminded of blueberry’s royalty status and I am in total agreement. Last year, I was so impressed with the generosity of our one year old blueberries that I insisted we immediately plant MORE. We planted another 14 little plants, so we now have 28 bushes.
Above is a photo of what we pick every second day.
The smaller 125g punnet on the right is from our fourteen 1-year old bushes.
The larger 250g punnet on the left is from our fourteen 2-year old bushes.
So kind of Nature to point out that Age wins out over Youth in generosity, abundance, and productivity. And the older bushes look better too. Ha!
Our blueberries are planted right next to our raspberries, and here are some ways the blueberries (in my opinion) win out.
- Ease of Picking- Bluberries have no thorns or prickles. The fruit are borne on the outer wood and grow in tight little clusters like grapes, easily accessible. This as opposed to raspberries, with their prickles, their fruit hanging underneath and way inside a thicket of prickly canes, the new canes (without any berries) growing thickly and making picking more difficult.
- Shelf Life/Ability to Store- Blueberries are lovely, firm, rotund little berries, and they last and last in the fridge. Raspberries, on the other hand, start to perish if you look at the sideways, easily squish, and start to grow mould after a couple of days in the fridge. They really need to be used eaten/asap. Both are delicious eaten fresh and freeze well, but blueberries are far superior dried than raspberries. Not that they ever last that long in our house.
- Aesthetics- Blueberries bushes are pretty! They are pretty in spring, with their lush green leaves and charming cream bell flowers; they look great in summer, covered in clusters of blue fruits; and in Autumn, their leaves go orange and red. Raspberries, on the other hand, have a tendency to grow tall and straggly.
The best thing about owning your own blueberries is being able to eat them in gluts. Because they are so expensive, sold in their little punnets, we have always relished each single blueberry, often in a fruit salad or on a cheesecake or pavlova. But when we bought the blueberry bushes, the woman we purchased them from showed us the ‘proper’ way to eat blueberries: in handfuls.
I can see a time in the coming years when the blueberries are so prolific that I may get sick of picking them; but in this, our second year of owning them, I am still completely smitten by the Queen of Berries.
Can you guess what berry holds the title of King?