Saturday, September 3, 2016

Blueberries

Years ago we drove past our neighbors' house and saw a sign that read 'blueberries for sale.' We knew the grower and his wife only to speak to and we still just see them at blueberry time but for that one month or so in the summer we visit often and have some great conversations. At first he had a regular woman customer and any people who saw the sign. Our first year he took down the sign when he realized that the woman, and Tom and I would buy all his berries. I'm not sure what happened to the woman but now we are his only customers. It is like having our own personal grower. He'll call and leave a message, always identifying himself, and saying, "I've got some berries if you want them." And we always do.

This year for the first time, we kept track of how many we bought. I'm going to jot the amounts down here so I'll have a record.

July 27 - 5 quarts
July 29 - 4 quarts
August 1 - 6 quarts
August 4 - 7 quarts
August 7 - 9 quarts
August 9 - 6 quarts
August 12 - 6 quarts
August 15 - 9 quarts
August 19 - 4 quarts
August 24 - 3 quarts
August 28 - 2 quarts

61 quarts in all, at $5.50 per quart equals $335.50. That may sound like a lot of money but if I were to buy blueberries in the store, either fresh or frozen, the cost would be a lot greater. Plus, these are local, unsprayed, and frozen as fresh as can be.

They go on cookie sheets in the freezer for a few hours, and then I put them in freezer bags.



One day the grower and Tom had a talk about blueberries. Tom said that blueberries are very good for you, with lots of antioxidants. And the man paused a bit, wondering about this because he has had esophageal cancer. And then his eyes lit up, and he said maybe that's why he is cancer-free now because of eating so many blueberries.

From The Guardian:
Blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenols, such as chlorogenic acid, quercetin, lutein and kaempferol. These are anti-inflammatories and antioxidants which strengthen the body's defences against free radicals. So eating blueberries could help protect against cancer, heart disease and age-related degenerative diseases. Their store of vitamin C also boosts the immune system.
In a 2008 study, tests of New Jersey blueberries found that organically grown ones had significantly more phenolic and anthocyanin antioxidants, and a significantly higher antioxidant capacity, than the conventionally grown equivalent.

We eat them in our yogurt or kefir every single morning, so here's hoping.

Please visit Weekend Cooking for other food related postings.

29 comments:

  1. What a great story. I love blueberries, have them in my yogurt every morning, and think they are well worth the price.

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    1. I always think whenever anyone mentions the price of organic food or vitamins that it isn't much compared to a hospital room and medicine, and I'm hoping they keep those things away for a long time or even ever!

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  2. The tragic fact is that there are no magic foods. We just have to make the best choices we can. You obviously have a great choice and are making it with pleasure! I do wish good health to you and your blueberry-growing neighbor!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  3. Blueberries! Yummo. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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  4. Lucky you!!! Blueberries are the easiest and best fruit to freeze and delicious all year round!

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  5. That was a good story. I like that slice of life from your blog. Also, I learn things such as I can freeze fresh blueberries the way you did. Non sprayed and local fruit is wonderful, I'm glad you posted about this, I hope your blueberry grower continued to be in good health.

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    1. Thank you for what you wrote. It means a lot to me. I also freeze local peppers and zucchini the same way only without the cookie sheet. I just chop them up and put them in freezer bags.

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  6. Lucky you to have your own private source.

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    1. Yes! And this week another fellow offered that we could dig up some bushes he has and transplant them at our house.

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  7. What a story! I love your cookie sheet trick - I've wondered how you can get them to "stay whole" while freezing in freezer bags. My parents will buy 25 lbs at a time back home in the Pacific NW, but I've yet to find a good way to bulk-buy blueberries in DC.. it may just not be possible!

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    1. I can't imagine that a big city wouldn't offer farmers' market produce, or that a big health food store couldn't order you bulk fruit. I know that a little health food store near me used to order me 50 pounds of potatoes at a time, and the other health food store I visit gets me lots of things in bulk, as will my coop. And I am in a tiny, tiny area compared to you!!!

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  8. Yum yum yum! And they look delicious. Every year my mom and I buy a box of frozen blueberries from a farm in Oregon. The girls love to eat them frozen and they're fun to pop into pancakes or waffles or the such. But I'd love to have some that aren't frozen as well. How lucky you are!

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  9. Blueberries are sooo nice, and good for you, too! Yes, it sounds like a lot of money looking at the total sum. But if you think of how much money people spend on useless or even harmful stuff such as cigarettes, it puts it into persepective :-) Also, you did not spend it all in one go, but in the course of two months, and you won't have to buy any more for quite a while now :-)

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  10. I eat blueberries on my yogurt every day, too. I can't wait to buy them in Oregon!!

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  11. I love blueberries and just eat them and buy them whenever I can, though I am not sure of local organic sources.......

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  12. You are so right about the cost. Cyndi and Jeff have eight (8) blueberry bushes and we pick and eat them every time we go out there all summer and early fall -- putting any extras in their freezer as they do too of course -- then when the season is over we grab a gallon whenever we want one - they have enough for us while we're here (we eat them almost every single day) and for them all year round, just from those few bushes! When we're in Florida, I buy frozen ones -- they are good but not nearly AS good. I really do believe they are good for us.

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    1. That's so great that you get to pick them fresh! That's encouraging that so many berries come from so few bushes. At some point we may plant our own.

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  13. Nan
    I put blueberries on my waffle, yogur and a lot more.
    Been buying when good buy at market
    like 3 quarts for $5.
    Probably have 20 quarts in freezer, also freeze cranberries and add along with the blueberries.
    Trying to do all I know to help my pain, not making much progress ):
    Yes my Amelia broke her arm cheer leading but always smiling.
    Love your flowers, wish available for me..

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    1. I'm so sorry about the pain. I expect there will be more and more flower CSAs as time goes on.

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  14. Such a nice little corner of your life illuminated. Welcome to the first almost cold morning for months.

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    1. Thanks, Kim. I love the cooler weather.

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