Posted by Jenni

Blueberries are one of the reasons I love Olympia.

Here, blueberry picking can be a last-minute plan. Nothing to do on an August morning? Drive ten minutes due north, pull onto a grassy lawn and step outside with your empty yogurt container. Voila.

I especially love that picking blueberries in our town can be a whim of the spirit, too. Feeling dreamy? Carr’s Organic Blueberry Farm is a wonderland of tall, spidery bushes. The shady labyrinth is a beautiful place to wander in the high grass, gather berries and send the kids hunting for fairies – it’s that kind of magical place. And the berries are delicious.

If you want a homey feel and a little more sunshine, just up the road is Blue Horizons, a blueberry farm sitting on an expanse of land behind the owners’ house and backyard garden. It’s a gentle place to pick with low-hanging fruit for young children. Signs warn of yellow jacket nests, though I have yet to encounter one on a visit (we tend to stick to the perimeter). This one’s our go-to spot because the picking’s easy and the many varieties are tasty and organic.

Just around the corner are the fields of the Gile brothers (there are two separate fields listed: here and here). I’ve never picked here, but some uber-picker friends tell me these are the fields they go to when they need to have a productive morning. They say the berries are plump and clumped together – a quick way to fill your bucket. I also hear that these berries, though not certified organic, are not sprayed directly.

I suppose by now everyone’s had a few berries and done some picking. But if there’s anyone, like me, who hasn’t been yet, here are a few of my favorite lines, excerpted from Robert Frost’s poem, “Blueberries,” to get you in the mood for the blue lovelies.

Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!

And after all really they’re ebony skinned:
The blue’s but a mist from the breath of the wind,
A tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand,

You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain,
The fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves,
Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves.

The weather looks great for most of the week and after a lot of travel and go-go-go, I need a little meditative down time. So I’ll take the kids picking this week. I hope you have an hour or so to go, too. See you back here on Thursday with your pints!