Nancy Roman

Blueberry Picking Rules

I went blueberry picking today.  Late-season, late-in-the-afternoon is just the way I love it. The air is still, the rows of bushes straight and beckoning. Blueberry-picking is a serene activity.

I wish that everyone could experience blueberry-picking.

By ‘everyone’ – I don’t mean, like, ‘everyone’ everyone.

I’d like to suggest a few exclusions:

– If you are bound to be loudly disappointed because you remember when the blueberries were bigger, sweeter, firmer, juicier – please don’t come.

– If your children have an attention span under seven minutes and/or you are forced to yell “Stop That!” more than seven times a minute – please don’t come.

– If you have a story to tell that requires multiple uses of the phrases, “So then she goes…” and  “So then I go…” –  please don’t come.

– If you wish the bushes were closer to the parking lot – please don’t come.

– If your cell phone rings more than three times in a half-hour – please don’t come.

– If Rover has to participate – and has to poop – please don’t come.

– If you and your loved ones can’t keep track of each other, and you have to shout “Marco”/”Polo” on a regular schedule – please don’t come.

– If you feel the need to smuggle out blueberries in your purse to avoid the weigh-in – please don’t come

– If you shriek when a bee comes within 24 inches of you – please don’t come

– If the ambiance of blueberries compels you to grope your significant other’s private parts – please don’t come.

– If you can’t bear the thought of your kid eating something that has not yet been de-germed – please don’t come.

– If you need to sing more than one stanza of “I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill” – please don’t come.

– If, despite the 1,200 bushes available, you still want to pick from the one bush I have chosen – please don’t come.

Other than that –

Everyone’s welcome!



  1. Surely, the bushes in your part of the world aren’t this high. I wish we had those. Ours are about 12 to 18 inches off the ground–serious bending involved. Hope the picking was plentiful.

    You’ve pointed out all the people I don’t wanting joining me blueberry picking either. One I might add. If you bring you kid, make sure he / she doesn’t sit on the old wood stump. When he / she gets attacked by army ants, I don’t want to be within five miles hearing distance.


  2. You had me at groping. Now I’m definitely interested!


    • Don’t even use your imagination. Groping amongst the berries in not appreciated.


  3. paulessick

    Reblogged this on My Blog paul.


  4. You make me laugh. No need to grouse about the decline in public manners when we can laugh instead. Thank you. And enjoy the blueberries. Pie?


    • Pie, Muffins, Ice Cream – Blueberry Everything!


  5. Oooooh! I do miss blueberry picking this year. Girlfriends found a place up in the hills that’s cool and breezy. Some used ladders to get to the top branches. For some reason we did not go this time. I love your post about the taboo people. As usual, it rings true and is hysterically funny!


    • Our favorite spot was already “picked out” – had to go to the touristy place. Next year we will go much earlier.


  6. My favorite part is that you can eat as many blueberries as you want, while you pick. I went with a friend when we were both pregnant (almost ten years ago, gasp!) and we stuffed ourselves silly. Probably made out with close to a pound of free berries in my belly. So much fun!

    Your ‘please don’t come if’-s are right on point, I agree!


    • I certainly must sample a bush multiple times before I pick from it.


  7. I love your exceptions-hard to believe the things people do without even realizing how foolish they look!


    • I want everyone to treat the orchard like a church. I love hearing only the bees.


      • Chris

        I won’t be able to come. I’ll be the bee-yeller.


  8. I really love this post. I was JUST telling my kids about blueberry picking the other day (I grew up in Michigan where I think it’s mandatory to go blueberry picking). but, after reading your list I am thinking my kids (not me, for heaven’s sake) might be too ill-mannered to ever go. I was telling my kids that when we would go i would find a place to settle among the bushes and just eat and eat until I heard my father calling me. he would inevitably find me and I ask me if i’d been picking or eating. with a blue face and mouth (I didn’t realize this until I was much older and wiser) I would say, “oh, just picking.” I always wondered how he knew I was lying.


    • Ha, ha. Reminds me of my nephew when he was four. My mother (his grandma) used to keep Hershey kisses in the living room. We were all sitting in the den one day when he disappeared for a bit. We heard him in the bathroom diligiently washing his hands. When he came back in the room, his mother said, “Were you eating chocolate?” He said, shocked, “How did you know?” And his mother said, “I’m your mother. I ALWAYS know.” The poor kid was too short to see himself – with his face chocolate-smeared – in the bathroom mirror.


  9. The locals here have a “secret” blueberry picking spot but I’m ticked now because apparently EVERYone knows about it now and it’s like a three-ring circus. Looks like I might have to start growing them in my own backyard.


    • We put in half a dozen bushes in our backyard. But they are still too small for any real yield. Hint: Put netting over the bushes, or you won’t get any yield at all. All the critters will beat you to them.


  10. Definitely rules to live by. Of course than can apply to a lot more than just blueberry picking.


  11. In other words, all ‘yall…please don’t come.


    • Yes, it would be sweet to be there by myself.


  12. This, this is my mostest favoritists one of all…

    – If the ambiance of blueberries compels you to grope your significant other’s private parts – please don’t come.

    Really my mostest favoritists

    When I was very young, maybe 10-12, we had a Blueberry farm not to far from us. Bike riding distance. Every year all of us that age would haul ourselves down there and we would pick for the farmers. I think they were, Korean. They were very nice. They paid us very little but they paid us. They also fed us lunch and gave us lemonaid with Blueberries in it. Their farm was there for years and years. For years and years all the kids in three neighborhoods picked there, after school and on weekends. For years they sold vegtables and Blueberries.

    I still remember that awesome farm and how wonderful it was. This just brought it back. Thanks


    • It sounds like you may have found your first boyfriend and did your first groping at that farm.


      • Nah, I just thought it was quite funny. I really dislike PDA, so the idea of groping on the far, well that is funny.


  13. Al

    Sounds like someone who was Christ-like might be the only one who qualifies to pick with you. Unfortunately, I am busy the next few weeks.


    • Jesus could come if he leaves his cell phone at home.


  14. Hiking up our CT hills to find wild berries on a weekday afternoon guarantees quiet.
    Sure beats picking in our nearby patch. The automated hawk sound machine unnerves me. I’ll take my chances sharing with bears. 🙂


    • I’ve never had any luck finding blueberries in the wild. Sounds wonderful.


  15. Jon

    The only competition I have at my secret blueberry patch is big, black, and furry, poops where it wants and doesn’t care what a cell phone is as long as it tastes good.


    • Do you go berry-picking with my husband????


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