For the past couple of summers, we placed our order for blueberries and sour cherries on my MIL’s annual trek to Michigan. We enjoyed the fruit throughout the year, though with a nagging feeling of unrest, because we knew that the orchard owners sprayed their fruit — not exactly in line with our usual choices.
Berries rank high on the list of produce with high levels of pesticide residue. While convenient, delicious, and affordable, our purchases were bad for our bodies and the environment.
With a little investigative work, we found a no-spray blueberry farm within an hour of St. Louis. Yesterday, we drove out to Huckleberry Hollow for a pick-your-own adventure.
Some of the blueberry bushes were over six feet tall — I had no idea they could get that big! We had fun, but we also worked really hard and still fell short of our target quantity for freezing.
Today, I’m suffering the effects of picking 9 gallons of blueberries (2-person effort) over 5.5 hours, only the first few of which exhibited something like pleasant temperatures.
Suddenly, the price of blueberries at the farmers’ market, pre-picked blueberries, seems pretty darn reasonable. It’s easy to walk through a farmers’ market and turn your nose up at the prices, but when you start getting your hands dirty, those prices make sense. Growing food in a sustainable manner is hard work!