Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oops! I forgot the blueberries....

The Blueberry Eater

After 5 hours at the Steam-up we proceeded to head to Silverton to find a u-pick blueberry farm. Yes, we were insane in the near 100 degree heat with 99% humidity. (You may find us wimpy sounding about the heat - but let me remind you that we live in a High Desert - humidity weakens our lizard-like exteriors!) But we were on a mission. You see, we are terrible about coming over to the other side of the mountains. But when we do, we try to make a big event of it and get in as many activities as we can. Blueberries have become one of our favorite summer treats, hence the unrelenting drive to find this elusive blueberry farm, regardless of our depleted electrolytes.

Blueberry Geeks!

This farm was in a cool, tucked away spot outside of Silverton. We parked and met a nice lady who sent us into the fields where she saw some still full bushes. We rushed out, and encountered another insane family. However, they soon called it a day because "they were going to come back in a few days" since they lived in Salem. Darn it! We didn't have that luxury of being 20 minutes from the blueberry farm (we lived a few hours away). "Get pickin'kids!! Oh wait, have a little water, okay pick some more. What? You're hot? We're all hot, for crying out loud. Don't stop picking. You can pick and talk at the same time! You need to sit in the shade? Well sit over here by that bush that has some blueberries on it. You can sit and pick at the same time!"

Hmmm...maybe we were a bit militant. But what doesn't kill you (or cause heat stroke) makes you stronger. We're building character here, folks! AND WE WANTED BLUEBERRIES!!!

Hot Rod & Lil' Mermaid had picked with us two years before but this was Peelu's first time. And needless to say, we probably should have weighed her before we went into the field and then afterward. Because I am pretty sure we owe those farmers some more money. She had a little trouble with the "pick them - put them in your bucket concept". It was more like "pick one - eat it, pick one - eat it, pick one - oh, put it in my bucket...."


Caught in the act

Ross even made her a Peelu-proof bucket out of an old coffee can with a small hole in it and a string for around her neck (so she couldn't take out the ones she put in or when she tripped repeatedly, they wouldn't fall out. That man knows his Peelu.)

We tried to rally, but after an hour we were fading. Yet also strangely addicted to picking. You think you're done and then you spy a nice, juicy clump and you go for it again and the pattern repeats itself. The sweat was stinging our eyes and we felt weak and delirious...."just a few more....wait, I found a good bush". It was blueberry crack, that's what it was. Look what we had become! Look at what we were doing to our poor children! The big kids were by now lying in the shade of the only nearby tree, their buckets forgotten, salty sweat saturating their clothes (which still had traces of dirt and ice cream from the Steam-Up on them). Peelu had resorted to picking blueberries and rubbing them on her face.
We gave in. We started the trek back to the scales and our truck.

The Long Trail Back...

For a little over an hour, with spotty workers, we didn't do too bad. Almost 13 pounds. We'll plan better next year. We'll put the kids in training a month before the season opens up.

The Loot

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