Now that my travel series to Michigan's Upper Peninsula is over, I will be spending the next few weeks highlighting some of our local travel adventures. I know it's January and not the time of year to go blueberry picking, but with all my summer gardening chores, I really do not have time in the summer to write up these kinds of posts. Plus, I figure why not allow my readers some time to read about them now, so they can plan for next summer? I did have one reader comment recently how nice it was to see pictures of flowers on my blog during the dreariness of winter, so that's another good reason! You will see lots of gorgeous flowers in this post! So let's settle in, put the winter blues aside, and start dreaming of summer shall we?
Every year my husband and I go blueberry picking. I pick enough blueberries for the year. I don't can them or anything, I just freeze them to use in smoothies and other recipes. We normally go to the same orchard, but this year a friend recommended another place so we decided to give it a try. This one is located in the rolling hills of Maiden Rock, Wisconsin. The beautiful country drive is worth going here alone!
When we first pulled in to Rush River Produce I could not believe how crowded it was! There were cars and people everywhere! "Where did they all come from?" I wondered "This place is in the middle of nowhere". The family run farm must get this amount of business every year because they had plenty of parking with signage to boot!
We started walking, eager to pick our berries, but I immediately became distracted by all the beautiful flower gardens! Oh my! It was a feast for the eyes!
This purple poppy seemed to dominate the landscape. I don't know what variety it is, as I've never seen anything but an orange or red poppy before, but it was gorgeous and so prolific!
Beyond the poppy gardens are the blueberries. The farm grows 14 different varieties of Blueberries, and you are allowed to taste test before you pick away!
I grew Dill in my vegetable garden for the first time last year and I was amazed at how easily it grew and what a beautiful plant it was. So I was not surprised at all to see Dill used as a border plant in these flower gardens.
The vegetable garden was equally impressive. Just look at all that colorful lettuce! And those onions! I couldn't believe the size of them. Mine never grow that big. I kept wondering what their secret was because their soil didn't look all that great and they don't even mulch!
In addition to poppies, they had lots of tall hollyhock too!
After strolling through the flower and vegetable gardens we headed out to the blueberry fields. My oh my! It was huge! Where did all the people go? We didn't know where to begin. Rush River Produce has nine acres of blueberry plants!
The rows between the blueberry plants are nice and wide so there is plenty of space to move around. The ground was a worn down lawn so I never felt uncomfortable, like I was walking in weeds or brush.
Even though we brought our own buckets, the farm lends you these easy to use carriers to aid you in your blueberry picking!
We had no problem finding lots of blueberries to pick. I like to pick mine when they are still light, like in the photo below. Other people wait till they turn that dark purple and are slightly mushy. To me they are over-ripe at that point. These will ripen more at home as it takes awhile to process them. If I pick them to plump and purple, they can get mushy.
Hubby worked diligently picking away, but I still was the faster picker and picked a lot more blueberries than he did.
A ha! There's some other blueberry pickers!
After we filled two pails of blueberries we went to pay for them. On the way out we saw more beautiful flower gardens. Just look at the size of these clematis plants!
This garden was a mixture of hollyhock, poppies, tall Asiatic lilies, iris, and petunias.
We had so much fun picking blueberries and strolling through all the beautiful gardens at Rush River Produce. However, I don't think we will go back as their blueberries are a lot more expensive than our usual place. It was a fun adventure, and it was good to try someplace new, but we pick blueberries for economical reasons and not just for the experience.
Have A Great Day! Amy
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