Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cape Cod Trip Report 2011 Pt. 2

My parents have this enormous blueberry bush growing in the back yard.  Every summer, the kids go out and pick blueberries.  Depending on the size of the crop, most of the berries get eaten before they make it back into the house.  This year’s crop is enormous, and I spent an hour picking them with my kids (they got the low ones, I got the high ones) until we had enough for a pie.  Some thoughts:

·         You have to keep a net over the bush, otherwise the birds eat them.  There are enough to share with the birds, but they land on the deck afterwards and take a blue dump on everything.

·         There is a microcosm of bugs living on fruit.  Watching the tray of blueberries I brought in, I found tiny spiders, translucent slugs that seemed to dance, and any number of indefinable critters.  I consider this bycatch. It may be a very protein-rich pie we end up with.

·         The blueberries are numerous and of varying ripeness.  How does a farm worker pick them with any speed?  Best I can guess is they shake the tree, but that would cause horrible waste as you’d get tons of unripe berries.

·         As pretty as a blueberry’s color is, the shape is ugly; it has that jagged circle at the bottom like a bear trap.  Look at this, for comparison:

See, much nicer.
This is a picture of (inedible) berries growing on the side of my parents’ house.  The ripe ones are a boring, uniform red.  The unripe ones, as you can see, are quite pretty.  I don’t know if the picture does them justice, but they’re red in the center and the outsides are still orange.  There are also these thin lines radiating along the sides, making it look like a glass basketball or maybe one of those pumpkin bombs the Green Goblin threw at people in the Spider-Man movies.

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