Keep in mind, not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have blueberries orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!
These are the areas of the state that have blueberry orchards to pick blueberries. Click on the area closet you!
Blueberries are one of the easiest fruit to prepare and serve. There's no peeling, pitting, coring or cutting. They have few natural pests, (other than birds), so pesticides are generally unnecessary! This year's crop is fantastic (see related news story), thanks both to the weather and to more farms planting more blueberry bushes due to increased consumer demand over the past few years as more studies proclaim the anti-oxidant and other health properties of blueberries.
Click here to find a local Blueberry Festival (usually held between April and July).
If you are looking for information about a similar berry, the saskatoon (also called the June berry or Serviceberry) see this page about saskatoons.
Select plump, full blueberries with a light gray-blue color. A berry with any hint of red isn't fully ripened.
First, it is key to know that once picked, blueberries will NOT become any sweeter, nor will the flavor improve. The only change that occurs is the color. They will APPEAR to ripen, but it is only a color change, from white to green to rose to red to pale blue to fully blue. So, white and green colored blueberries will not "ripen" after they are picked; while blueberries that have already turned purple, red or blue-ish usually DO change color after they are picked (if they are kept at room temperature to "ripen").
As the blueberries ripen ON THE BUSH, the flavor goes from tastless to bitter to tasteless tart to tart blueberry flavor to sweet blueberry flavor.
Grocery stores sell blueberries that are tart, not sweet because they had them picked unripe by machine so they are very firm and can handled being bumped around in shipping. They may look good, but are not as tasty as those picked when actually ripe.
So, the key is, PICK ONLY RIPE BERRIES!
Since blueberries hang on the bushes in bunches a but like grapes do, the easiest and fastest way to pick them is hold your bucket under them in one hand and with your other hand, cup a ripe bunch and gently rub them with your fingers. The ripe berries will drop into your bucket, while the unripe ones will remain attached to the bush.
When the bushes are at peak, I can easily pick 2 gallons per hour (if I'm not being distracted by the kids and the sun isn't too hot!). A newbie might do 1 gallon per hour.and at the beginning or end of the season it takes more time as the berries are not as plentiful nor concentrated in clusters.
Keep in mind that blueberries vary considerably in density and moisture content, so these ranges are approximates.
1 gallon of blueberries weighs about 7.5 lbs or (4 liters of blueberries is about 3.5 kg)
1 pint of fresh blueberries weights about 3/4 of a pound. (1 liter of blueberries is about 700 grams)
1 pound of fresh blueberries is usually between about 2 and 3 cups of berries.
It takes about 4 cups (about of blueberries to make a blueberry pie (see this fantastic and easy blueberry pie recipe)
A normal batch of blueberry preserves, jam or jelly requires 5 pints of berries.
Blueberries do come in a variety of sizes from small (190-250 berries per cup) to extra large (<90 berries per cup).
If you have trouble with blueberries settling to the bottom of muffins and blueberry breads, try one or more of these tips:
Looking for canning equipment and supplies?
Water bath canner with a jar rack
Pressure canner for gas, electric and induction stoves
Canning scoop (this one is PERFECT)
Ball Blue book (most recent version)
Above is the
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book