Saturday, July 31, 2010

Out In The Blueberry Field

They thrive everywhere. In the woods, under the pine, spruce and birch trees. In an open field where trees have been cut. They bear multitudinous little fruits dangling from their twigs, almost hidden by leaves that are about the size of  the fruits.

This is the European blueberry, which also flourishes throughout Sweden. Unlike the cultivated American blueberry, which is a fairly big bush, the European blueberry grows wild and low, about one foot high or below. It thrives better and bears more fruits in the open field that is well-lit with sunshine.

just a small section of the field

Like all other places in Sweden, the small city of Umeå has several blueberry fields that draw people from some Asian countries to pick the fruits throughout summer and make a good living out of it. Even then, no matter how many pickers are out there, still they cannot pick all the fruits throughout the season. There's more than enough to feed all blueberry lovers and to thicken the wallets of those who engage in blueberry business. There would still be lots of fruits waiting for harvesters who may never discover their existence until they wither away.

Recently, I had my first experience in picking blueberries. When I first saw the berries amongst the trees, I got so excited that I started to pick with my fingers. Those were much fruits for me at the time. But when my hubby and I went to the real open field along the slope of a hill, I was completely overwhelmed by the vastness of the area covered all over with blueberry bushes.  My exhilaration went even higher when I saw the little bushes laden with fruits. I couldn't help hurrying to the first bush and harvesting its abundant yield. This time, I used a plastic berry-picker which could pluck almost all the fruits from a single bush.

berry picker

I was so completely engrossed in picking, which I enjoyed so much that I could go on picking forever. I just went on enthusiastically and indefatigably, wishing that I could pick all the fruits, which is impossible. We covered just a small area, and filled up two buckets. We're going to pick more some other days and get us an ample supply for our cereal meals or desserts which may  last until winter.

winnowing away some leaves and twigs

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