Ripe Berries

All of those blossoms from the spring have turned from green to pink to blue and left us with sizable bunches of berries. The few rows we left to fruit look lovely and are begging to be picked. The oppressive heat the last week has brought some berries to ripen faster than we can pick them and are now shriveling on the bush. 

In our family, I am the berry picker. I am not terribly fast (yet) but am very thorough. I know just how to pick them at their peak ripeness and am learning how to pick each variety. On our farm, we have 7 varieties. Not only do these plants ripen at varying times, each variety has thier own unique ripening stages. It is not "bad" to pick a berry that isn't fully ripe. Unripe berries have a tart or sour flavor. While most of us prefer ripe, sweet berries, Ben prefers sour green berries. Hmmm...

Below are pictures of ripe and unripe blueberries. The berries pictured come from two varieties, Patirots and North Blue. These two varieties are the first to ripen for us. Patriots are said to ripen near the 4th of July, as per their name. This year, our patriots were almost past ripe when they should have just been getting started. 

Note the pink/purple color of the top berry near the stem hole. This berry is not yet fully ripe. It will have a tart or sour taste.

The King Berry is the largest berry in a cluster. It is the first to become ripe. Also note the complete blue color near the stem hole. This berry if fully ripe and deliciously sweet.

Sizing berries.