American Journey

Measuring the march of time, one ripe blueberry at a time

I love blueberries. If I were left on a deserted island and given one item of food they would be my first choice. As a child I  could mark the beginning of summer at the local market. The shelves would be stacked taller than my head with containers from the blueberry capital of the world, Hammonton, New Jersey. Back then you didn’t get fruit when it was out of season so it was a real treat when it was available.

Nowadays we can get blueberries pretty much any time of the year. One sign of winter is the abundance of blueberries from Chile and Argentina.  In early spring they start appearing from Florida. Then they relentlessy work their way up the coast like a swarm of bees. The North Carolina blueberries recently hit the store. But they are not the same as in-season, local blueberries. My favorite Jersey fruits can’t be far behind. Usually just in time for the 4th of July, when a favorite red-white-and-blue treat is a bowl of strawberries and blueberries topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

It is getting harder to tell what season you are in based on the weather. 70 degree days in January give way to cool and rainy Junes. But when the Michigan blueberries finally appear, I know that summer is waning and the days are getting shorter. In measuring the march of time, the parade of blueberries never lets me down.

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About Michael

This blog has a mix of some of my main interests in life: travel, politics, food and generally being a curmudgeon. Enjoy.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Measuring the march of time, one ripe blueberry at a time

  1. Thanks for your eloquent praise of local fruit in season, Mr. Paine. For me, nothing says “summer” like fresh sweet corn ready for husking and ripe strawberries ready for eating in every imaginable form. Last Friday night we had sweet corn out doors, and yesterday we picked two huge flats of strawberries out in the country. I’m in heaven …

    Posted by The Progressive Pragmatist | June 7, 2010, 4:03 pm
  2. I grew up on the South Jersey Shore and delighted in Jersey tomatoes, corn and blueberries. I now live in North Florida and I grow my own veggies organically. I have to say that my veggies and blueberries are delicious, ah but nothing compares to the Jersey blues. They’re the best in the world.

    Posted by Genie O'Brien | June 28, 2011, 2:41 pm
    • I think it’s the sandy soil that makes Jersey blueberries and tomatoes the best. I wonder if that helps in Florida too. Thanks for checking in.

      Posted by Thomas | June 28, 2011, 7:19 pm
      • it probably is the sandy soil that makes the difference. And blueberry bushes thrive when mulched with pine needles or leaves and S Jersey has more than its share of pines too

        Posted by Genie | June 28, 2011, 8:15 pm

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