Berry Picking Tips
Berry picking is a fun and easy activity suitable for both children and adults. For the best picking experience, keep these tips in mind:
Blueberries grow in clusters on blueberry bushes. Ripe blueberries are uniformly blue. To harvest the berries, use one hand to hold your bucket under a cluster of berries and very gently rub the cluster with the fingers of your other hand. Ripe berries will detach themselves and fall into your bucket. If the berries resist and do not gently fall off, they are not ripe. Of course, taste testing is a good test for ripeness too:) Please try and pick each bush clean, that is, remove all ripe berries before moving on to the next bush. This ensures the best picking experience for all of our visitors, and reduces waste and crop loss.
Blueberry Yield Per Pound
1 pound of blue berries yields approximately 2 and 2/3 cups.
Blueberry pie recipes typically require about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of berries
Blueberry jam recipes usually call for about 3 and 3/4 pound of berries
Blackberries also grow in clusters. Ripe blackberries are uniformly dark in color, soft, and yield to a gentle tug. If you have to pull on the berry to remove it, it is not yet ripe. Taste testing is a good method also (we won't tell:) Please try and pick each bush clean, that is, remove all ripe berries before moving on to the next bush. This ensures the best picking experience for all of our visitors, and reduces waste and crop loss.
Blackberry Yield Per Pound
One pound of blackberries yields about 4 cups
Do not wash berries before refrigeration, it causes blueberries to become mushy and hastens spoilage of blackberries. Instead, wash immediately before use. Store berries in shallow, closed containers in the refrigerator. Blueberries will keep for 10 to 14 days; blackberries for 3 to 4 days.
Do not wash blueberries before freezing, it can cause thicker, tougher skins. Intead, wash after thawing before use. Blackberries can be washed prior to freezing.
For smaller amounts, place the berries in a single layer on a cookie tray to freeze. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a ziplock freezer bag for long term storage. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the bags for later ease of use.
For larger quantities, transfer the berries directly to freezer bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the bags for later ease of use.
For other storage options, visit Michigan State University's excellent Blueberry Preservation Page
Did you know? ½ cup blueberries can provide the same amount of antioxidants as 5 servings of other
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