Blueberry season!

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It's blueberry season, apparently until the end of August. We like Dexter Blueberry Farm - not organic, but local and close. (Plus, it's where my mom took us several times a summer when I was little, so it's tradition.) I picked about 9 pounds.

Blueberries are $1.35 / lb at the farm. I weighed some out; they're about 3 cups / lb, making a dry pint about $0.90. Blueberries at the store are about $4/pint. Wow.

Now, were you to think like an economist, and figure out how much time I spend picking said blueberries, and driving to the farm and back, and declare that my picking time costs me the same hourly rate as my working time, then this pint costs about $5.75, before per mile costs are calculated. Which is why I avoid thinking like an economist - and also why we take friends along. With Kelli & Michael in tow, the mileage costs are cut in half from what we pay alone, and the time expenditure has entertainment value, meaning the cost of my time is priced at the opportunity cost of the fun I could be having elsewhere, and, ehhhh, let's just say it all equals out, my time cost is zero, meaning the cost of the blueberries is equal to the price of the blueberries plus mileage costs / pickers. I don't care for economist pedantry anyways, so this method is fine by me.

So, $0.90/pint for blueberries, and $0.40/pint mileage (4 pickers in a car, $0.42/mile, in this case - picking longer would reduce the mileage cost) puts me at $1.30/pint, or 1/3 the cost of retail. Which has me wondering if I should be selling blueberries at the farmers market. Hmmm...

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What are you making?

You have explained exactly why I do not generally pick fruit that I have to pay for. At Eastern Market last weekend, I bought 10 lbs of blueberries for $30. There were no additional costs since I would have been there buying groceries anyway. I invested my time canning the berries, which is by far the easiest canning I have ever done. 10 lbs yields slightly more than 10 pint jars. They are a great dessert topping in the winter when local fruit is non-existent at the market, and jars of blueberries make nice Christmas gifts.

The farmer mentioned that I may have bought the last blueberries from his farm this year because all the fruit is ripening ahead of schedule.


So far, a couple of pies (taken to potlucks and eaten for breakfasts), jam (blueberry lime - 7 half-pints), and about a gallon frozen, plus some left. Hmmm, what's next?

Blueberry lime

I might have to try making the blueberry lime jam some time. Do you just eat it on toast? I made plain blueberry a few times, and it was the best jam for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but it never sets firm enough for my liking.

I have a recipe for "nectarines, grapes, and blueberries with orange and cardamom" from Cook's Illustrated that I've been meaning to try out. You can get the recipe from their website if you sign up for a 14-day trial membership.

"Cantaloupe, plums, and cherries with mint and vanilla", "Honeydew, mango, and raspberries with lime and ginger", and "Peaches, blackberries, and strawberries with basil and pepper" were other interesting fruit salads in the same article about muddling.

On toast, or on (messy)

On toast, or on (messy) pb&js, or a dollop in granola (though straight-up fresh blueberries are better while they last).

Certainly, as mentioned, the picking time doesn't make sense if it's just picking time; it's only the company that makes it worthwhile. Otherwise, like for apples, I just buy large quantities at the farmers market.


Hi Murph! I found your blog from ArborUpdate--love it :)
Thanks for the recommendation on blueberry picking...I've been trying to get my husband to go with me. We are homebrewers and I know that there are several good blueberry/beer recipes. Normally, I object to fruit in my beer, but I make an exception in this case....

Patti :)

blueberry beer

I also typically object to fruit in beer, but I did have a good blueberry beer in Maine a few summers ago, and was just thinking the other day I needed to start another few batches of homebrew. Have any recipes you've tried and liked?


I accidentally typed the subject line, meaning to say "Blueberry beer", but that looks kind of cute, so I left it :)

I don't have any recipes, but I will mine our brewing club (the Ann Arbor Brewing Club) and see what they can come up with...some of those folks are freaking brewing geniuses!


(No I'm not tripping on crystal meth ...)

This is a beautiful post, Murph, and the reader comments are delish!