Help Us Celebrate 40 Years at The Blueberry Patch!
Mmmm. Plump, juicy blueberries, steamed-in-the-husk sweet corn and mead are some of the best tastes of summer. To celebrate our 40th anniversary, The Blueberry Patch at 7015 Blackwell Dr., Sawyer, is bringing those mouthwatering treats together starting the weekend of July 21 & 22. Here are the details (all times are EDT):
BLUEBERRIES, CORN ROAST & MEAD WEEKENDS
Every Saturday and Sunday until the end of blueberry season (Call 269-426-4521 or visit our Facebook page for updates on availability.)
Blueberry U-Pick: Saturdays, 9 am-8 pm (yes, we’re now open later); Sundays, 9 am-6 pm
Free Corn Roast: Saturdays, 11 am-8 pm; Sundays, 11 am-6 pm. We’ll be steaming in the husk some of the sweetest corn you’ve ever tasted. Get one free ear of corn for every 5 lbs. of blueberries you pick or for every 10-lb. box of all-ready-picked blueberries you buy from our market (maximum of five free ears per family). You can purchase extra ears of corn from our concession stand.
Free Mead and Cyser Tastings: Saturdays & Sundays, noon-6 pm. Meadmaster Pete Wylde from Southwest Michigan’s Black Dragon Meadery, uses our fruit to make his blueberry and wyldeberry meads and Blue Dragon Blueberry Cyser (a delicious, carbonated mead that blends fresh-squeezed Michigan apple cider, blueberries and honey). Black Dragon will offer free tastings of their featured meads and cysers, plus bottles of your favorites for purchase as well as advice on what foods to pair them with. Come to try them at our market!
Make-Your-Own Picnic: In addition to extra corn, you can buy hot dogs, Italian sausage, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chips, drinks and blueberry ice cream from our concession stand.
BLUEBERRY U-PICK AND MARKET OPEN ALL WEEK
You can also pick blueberries: Monday-Thursday, 9 am-6 pm; and new, later hours on Friday: 9 am-8 pm. We can provide you with a picking bucket strung with a rope so you can carry it around your neck or tie it to your belt. This frees both of your hands so you can pick faster and easier!
Our market is open during picking hours, too. You can buy all-ready-picked blueberries in pints or in boxes of 2 lbs., 5 lbs. and 10 lbs. quantities. (Call a day or more ahead if you want a large order, 269-426-4521, and we’ll have it ready for you when you arrive!) This is your go-to-shop for everything blueberry ﹘ blueberry blossom honey, blueberry jams, spreads, preserves and novelty items.
Mid-July to Early August
Bluecrop: firm and slightly tart; great for freezing, preserving, baking and fresh eating
Draper: developed at Michigan State University; firm, sweet and easy to handpick
Jersey: firm and very sweet; eat fresh, freeze or preserve for later, add to favorite baking recipes
Rubel: an heirloom berry with delectable wild blueberry flavor; add to pies, muffins and pancakes
TIPS FOR BLUEBERRY PICKING
- Protect yourself. You’ll be standing in the sun. Bring drinking water and wear a hat, sunscreen, and clothes that you don’t mind if they get a little blueberry juice on them.
- Choose a bush loaded with ripe berries and stay with it until you have picked all of the good berries; it will save you energy. Don’t just pick berries from the front of the bush. Reach in, there are plenty of delicious clusters on the undersides of the branches, too.
- Blueberries are ripe and full of flavor when they are completely blue. If you pick berries that are tinged with red, they will continue to ripen but will not get sweeter.
- Roll the blueberry cluster between your fingers or between your thumb and the palm of your hand. The ripe ones will easily fall off the branch and into your picking bucket.
SUPER-EASY TO FIND
The Blueberry Patch is just 90 minutes from Chicago. It is one-mile straight west from I-94 Exit 12 or one-mile south of Warren Dunes State Park (take Red Arrow Highway south to Holloway Dr., then west one half-mile to Blackwell Dr.)
We hope to see you soon!
Kris Goodenough is the operations manager at The Blueberry Patch in Sawyer, Michigan.