July is a fun month for Blueberry picking at farms throughout Georgia. Below are several farms that offer U-picks where you can bring the family and pick your own blueberries. “Studies show that blueberries may reduce belly fat and risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. According to WomensFitness.net, “Blueberries have the highest antioxidant level of all fruit. Antioxidants help prevent cancer and slow down aging. Blueberries also promote urinary tract health, eye health, brain health, and digestive health. Blueberries are also a healthy source of vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin E (Excerpt from Top 10 Health Benefits of Blueberries)”.
Adams Farm 1486 Georgia Hwy 54 West Fayetteville 30214; 770-461-9395.
U-Pick Hours include: 9am-4 pm Monday-Saturday, but call before you go! Containers are provided for easy picking! Varieties may include: Tiftblue, Premier, Brightwell. No pets allowed. Blackberries as well!
Berry Patch Farms 770-926-0561; 786 Arnold Mill Road; Woodstock, GA
Opening June 30th! 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm throughout July, but closed on Mondays. Call ahead to make sure there are blueberries to pick. We provide the container! Facebook
Blueberry Garden 5475 Crowe Road; Cumming, GA 30041; 770-889-2519.
U-Pick Blueberry Farm open to the public from June-August. Open by appointment on Saturdays when blueberries are available. Call before you go!
Check out our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Blueberry-Gardens-672223259508202/about/?ref=page_internal
DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm 678-442-7853; 1839 Prospect Rd; Lawrenceville, GA 30043.
Open Monday-Saturday based on blueberry availability. Please call before coming! Check out our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/djsupickblueberries/
Mercier Orchards Blue Ridge, Ga
It’s a bit of a drive, but you can make a day of it! Go into Blue Ridge to shop, eat or go tubing/hiking nearby! Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/mercierorchards or call 800-361-7731!
Photo from Pixabay.com
BLUEBERRIES: THE SUPER FRUIT PERFECT FOR SUMMERTIME
Pike Nurseries Offers Tips for Growing Delicious Blueberries at Home
Blueberries not only provide scrumptious, antioxidant-rich berries, but blueberry shrubs also add year-round interest to the landscape. This summer fruit is easy to grow and requires minimum care in the garden. To help homeowners grow and care for their own blueberries, the garden experts at Pike Nurseries offer these tips:
- Even though blueberries produce their fruit in the summer months, it is not too late to begin planting them now. Plant yours in a spot that receives full sunlight, either in the garden or in a large pot.
- To thrive, blueberries need a nutrient-rich soil with good drainage. If planting in the garden, mix the native soil with Pike Planting Mix at a 50/50 ratio. This helps break up the hard Georgia red clay and allows for better drainage.
- To protect your berries from birds, cover your blueberry shrub with bird netting as soon as the berries start to appear.
- Blueberries come in many different varieties. A few of the best options for Georgia gardeners are O’Neal blueberries, Burgundy Wild Lowbush blueberries, Top Hat blueberries and Patriot Early Season blueberries. All of these varieties are carried at Pike Nurseries.
- The easiest way to pick your berries is to hold a bucket underneath a cluster in one hand, and gently pull bunches at a time with the other hand. The ripe berries will easily fall off the branches, while the berries that aren’t fully ripened will remain attached to the bush.
- The biggest clue in determining if a berry is ripe is its color. Ripe berries will be plump with a light blue or gray color. If there is still a hint of red in the berry, it isn’t fully ripened yet.
Whether eating them fresh out of the bucket or incorporating them into everyday cooking, gardeners can take full advantage of the fruits of their labor.
Below are two delicious recipe ideas that incorporate blueberries (courtesy of Emily Greer, Personal Chef):
Fresh Blueberry Coffee Cake
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cups butter
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups blueberries
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup cold butter
Cream butter and sugar in a bowl of stand mixer. When light and fluffy, add egg and mix thoroughly. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla and blueberries. Pour into greased and floured 9X9 baking dish. For topping, cut butter into dry ingredients with pastry blender or pulse in food processor until small crumbs form. Sprinkle over top of batter and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberry-Lemon Compote
1 ½ tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
7 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
1 pint fresh blueberries
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
⅛ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water
Combine first 4 ingredients in saucepan and heat to just simmering. Cook until berries turn deep purple. Stir together cornstarch and water in a separate bowl to make a slurry. While berries are simmering, slowly add cornstarch mixture while stirring until desired consistency is reached (you may not use all of it). Compote should be like melted jam. Cool completely and chill.
Soften gelatin in 1 Tbsp. cold water in a medium bowl for about 5 minutes. Warm cream and sugar over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, 3-5 minutes, then stir into bowl with gelatin. Stir in buttermilk, then strain into another bowl. Pour custard among six 8 oz. ramekins and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Serve in ramekins or, to unmold, dip ramekins into a dish of hot water, then flip over onto a chilled plate. Garnish with fresh blueberries and lemon zest. Serve with your favorite shortbread cookies!
Original article 7/9/12. Updated 2018.