Organic blueberry bushes at Jensen's Farm
At a U-pick price of $10 per 4# bucket, a short drive to Jensen's Organic blueberry farm is an annual item on our must do list. With plentiful berries on the head high plants, we picked 16# in a little more than an hour.
Now this is a bunch of berries!
After cleaning obvious debris from the berries, we packed them into 2 cup portions in plastic bags and dropped them into our trusty deep chest freezer for later use as cereal toppings, muffins and possibly various desserts.
Himalayan blackberry bushes....
The Oregon coast is covered with mile after mile of Himalayan blackberry plants. They are extremely prolific and are very difficult to eradicate around homes and from backcountry roads and trails.
These tasty berries are just now ripening in hotter places somewhat away from the ocean and just called out to be picked. We hauled out our berry picking buckets and made the short drive to a "secret" place along the nearby Sixes River on Wednesday.
I can't say that picking blackberries is at the top of my list for fun things to do. These particular plants are protected by millions of small very sharp thorns that find their way into clothing, skin and human flesh and, trust me, they are sharper than baby teeth in a beagle mouth. Getting access to the best berries is not just an easy pick and grab.
Additional challenges include hornet nests hidden in the bushes, hot sun in the narrow river valley and, worst of all, human and dog waste. I know, way too much information, but people lacking toilet facilities are a scourge on the land. Nuff said!
We dumped the berries from the picking buckets...
To the larger collection bucket
Our blackberry harvest ended up at just over a gallon after a couple of hours in the hot sun and we tossed the results of our efforts into the freezer with the blueberries. I see some cobblers, crisps and pies in our future.
Huckleberries should be ripe at Cape Blanco soon. They are much smaller than berries we have found in Idaho, Montana and along the Cassiar Highway in British Columbia, but a handful or two are enough for fine muffins.
The cranberry harvest begins along the Oregon coast sometime in October and we always end up with a bag or two that happen to just "fall off the truck" so to speak. Actually, we get our cranberries from Cindy here in the park. She has a lot of friends in the berry business.
Since I am writing about local delicacies, Chinook (King) salmon are beginning to push into the Coquille River in Bandon. I will pick up a harvest tag this week and will soon be spending a lot of time trolling for the big boys. Can't wait!