Home > prose, Random Musings > The Good, the Bad, and the Blueberries

The Good, the Bad, and the Blueberries

Saturday, I went blueberry picking. It’s something I’ve done ever since I was a little kid, if there was an opportunity. Growing up, I’d always go to the same farm, a local market that is awesome. The even have a bakery with the world’s best apple cider donuts EVER. But I digress.

Bright and early, half-caffeinated, I pulled into the Farm. It was a little deserted, but hell, it was early. And on the weekend. I had to drag myself out of bed. But the prospect of pounds of blueberries was totally worth the lack-of-caffeine hangover looming in my future.

Up at the register is a girl who looked both bored and irritated that there are customers. Still, a smile is appropriate, so I smiled and explained I’d like a bucket to pick blueberries.

“Great,” she mutters. “That’ll be four dollars.”

“For what?”

“The tractor ride.”

Let me explain something: the tractor ride takes exactly ONE minute. And up until this season, they’ve never charged you for the ride. Sure, they charge you (per pound) nearly as much as the grocery store, but certain things can be overlooked, if only for nostalgia’s sake. Except I’m not paying FOUR dollars just to pick my own fruit.

Getting back in the car, I googled another local farm. It seemed easy enough to get to – take one road to another, make a turn, and TA DA. I should’ve known then that it wouldn’t be that simple.

I ended up lost in the bowels of another local town that I don’t visit much. Road signs began to vanish, but before they did, there were some interesting street signs. One was called, “Bed Bug Hill Road.” I wish I were kidding. I thought it was a misread. Initially, I thought it read “Dead Bug Hill Road,” which isn’t much better.

After being unable to find the address listed for this mysterious farm, there was a man standing in front of his house. I stopped to ask if he knew the place. He was nice enough, but drunk. It was barely 9 am. Okay, then. Driving in the direction I was already headed, and consequently was also where Drunk Man pointed, I still couldn’t find the address. The numbers skipped from 75 to 400 without notice. It seemed like an episode of The Twilight Zone. Awesome.

In front of an industrial farm site, there were two people talking. One of them was holding a bottle of vodka. It’s a little past 9:15, and it seemed that I was the only sober person in a fifteen miles radius. I haven’t even had breakfast. Blondie and Vodka knew the farm, though. It turned out the address on the website was incorrect. It’s just “down the road a piece.” For a moment, I felt like I should have sweet tea, but I was unfortunately without.

Coming up to the address in question, it was nothing more than the world’s skinniest driveway, leading off into trees. I could not see behind the bend, but I knew enough to realize that a) it looked like I’ve just wandered into the beginning of a horror movies, b) it would’ve been totally normal for a guy with a banjo to pop out of nowhere, wearing an opossum, and c) it was the PERFECT location to be murdered and eaten by a cannibal. Or buried under the produce like in secret window.

Of course, the man who worked there is perfectly nice. It’s a nice, no nonsense farm. No one charged for a tractor ride, and in about an hour, I acquired a nice bucket of blueberries. Granted, there were a ton of wasps and bees – and I nearly picked a few of them by accident. But all and all, I’ve found a new place to go, and I’m glad. While the old farm had nostalgia going for it, the new one has character. It is hidden where no one could ever find it, and it’s like a little secret nook in the middle of nowhere.

This reminds me of two things: I can still get lost in the place I grew up in AND that it’s never wise to judge something or someone based on appearances. Except maybe the drunk guy who looked vaguely like Rutger Hauer in Hobo with a Shotgun.

Categories: prose, Random Musings
  1. June 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Wonderful story. At my brother’s blueberry farm, I promise you won’t be charged for a tractor ride or wonder about homicide or cannibalism. No guarantees on the banjos or possums.

    • June 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Jim, your brother’s farm sounds like fun! Also, if there’s possibly moonshine — BONUS. (Although, to be fair, that stuff hits me hard.) 😉

  2. June 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Good morning,
    What a delightful story. I enjoyed it very much. I also love berries of any kind. Blueberries are especially good for you by the way. When my kids were little we used to go on berry walks, some of our fondest memories.

    • June 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Good morning you too, Sharon! I love berries, too. Blueberries and strawberries are my favorite. 🙂

  3. June 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

    There’s nothing like picking your own fruit. When I was a kid, I used to pick the blackberries that grew in an old fence row separating my neighborhood from a huge corn field. No one else ever picked them, and it seemed a shame to leave them only to the birds and the bugs. My parents have blackberries coming in at their place. I’m anxiously awaiting the harvest and some homemade cobbler!

  4. June 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I’m just (oddly) proud that you weren’t compelled to take a picture of the drunken Rutger and his pals and post them on Facebook. You lived in the moment… and what an interesting moment it was. Mmm, fresh blueberries.

  5. June 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hilarious recap of your escapade. I too am a big fan of Blueberries. I remember one of my fave childhood books was Blueberries for Sal. Aw, so good. Anyway, I kinda feel like you wrote this blog post especially for me…referencing murders, cannibals and most importantly HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. SWOON.

  6. mandy
    July 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I remember your dad taking us to pick blueberries and how little I felt next to all the bushes. Which now I’m sure we tower over. I hadnt thought about that in forever. I’m glad that I read this entry, it brought back a great memory.

    • July 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

      Mandy, I also remember Scott having blueberry alllll over his face, because he ate more than he picked. It was hilarious! And yes, we are definitely taller now, but I’m not quite tall enough to tower over them. hehe I’m glad that this entry made you smile. I thought of you when I went out picking. Good memories.

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