My friend Pat invited me to pick blueberries with her on July 4th at The Berry Patch, in Cleveland, Missouri, which is about 20 minutes from where we live. I’d heard about the farm years ago, but had never visited so I was glad for the invitation.
The forecast called for rain, but we decided to go anyway. Rain started as we drove, but optimistically we continued, thinking that at least we’d have the place to ourselves. Wrong. There were about fifty cars parked there when we arrived at 7:25 a.m. The farm opens at 7 a.m. For some, picking blueberries on Independence Day is a tradition. Since blueberries are only available for a few months — several types of blueberries are planted to stretch out the season — July 4th is a good reminder to get to the farm. You can rush home with your blueberries to add them to a red white and blue dessert. Pat said that because of the rain, the crowd was actually quite thin. When it’s sunny, you have a lot more competition for blueberries. There are many bushes, however. The Berry Patch is the largest berry farm in Missouri. There are 30 acres of blueberry bushes and four acres of blackberry bushes. A store sells jams, syrups and baked goods, and there is a playground area for kids, and picnic tables for picnic lunches.
Thunder crashed when we got out of the car, but fortunately we didn’t hear much thunder or see lightning afterward. It did rain a lot, though. After a while, you forget the rain as you pick pick pick those blueberries.
The Berry Patch provides white buckets with a plastic bag liner. They provide twine so that you can attach the bucket to your waist so you have two free hands to pick. After about two hours of picking, I picked almost six pounds and Pat almost nine pounds. She had two buckets. I bought some blueberry jam and blueberry syrup, too.
As we climbed into the car, we were soaked to the skin, but I was so glad we ignored the weather report. I hope to make blueberry picking a July 4th tradition. I may even go again this summer to replenish my supply. I’ve already eaten two cups of blueberries today.
Thank you, Pat, for a fun morning.