I woke up early in my 1987 airstream listening to the birds chirp. It was an early 7:30am, but I didn’t care. I had had, probably, the best sleep I’ve ever had in semi-nature on a twin size bed in a renovated RV.
I laid in bed for awhile, listening to the immense sounds of nature, before a construction truck zipped through the silence. My nature solitude disturbed, I resolved to get out of the warm bed.
I threw on whatever clothes I could find, washed my face in silence, and jumped into the car. A quick five minutes up the hill, I found knoll farm.
Since it’s revolutionary discovery yesterday, I had planned to wake up early and drive to the farm to pick fresh blueberries, heck to even see fresh blueberries still on the vine. I hadn’t the least clue as what to expect, since I hadn’t Googled it. Instead, I was determined to be surprised. A quality desired less and less among the masses.
I parked on a dirt rode and walked to the first blond hair blued eyed farmer with a smile.
He saw my confusion and proceeded to talk to me about, what I assumed to be typical Vermont small talk, water scarcity, building yurts, appreciating springs.
I said “I came to pick blueberries” and he looked pleased. He explained to me the process.
“4 dollars for a pint, 6 for a quart. Pick the blueberries that were deep blue all the way around, no white or pink, just deep ocean blue.”
I nodded. He said. ” If no one is here when you come back, just leave the money in the box. We have an honor system here. How many and what kind do you want?”
I ambitiously asked for two pints and went toward the patch. I spent some time taking pictures of blueberries and a selfie to prove I was there. I was the only one, in a field full of berries. I felt a sense of absolute fear and freedom.
So I started picking berries. I walked from bush to bush looking for the bluest of blue berries, partially afraid of food poisoning and partially afraid of breaking the rules. After ten minutes I had managed to fill my pint about 1\4 of the way and realized it was not that easy.
Just as I had decided to stop and just buy the pre-picked blueberries, a group if ten giggly middle age women appeared in the field with hats, each holding two empty quarts to fill up with blueberries.
Not to be totally outdone, I kept picking as I overheard a women in her 50’s say ” this is easy! I’m use to be in more than one place!”
I walked over to her to see if she could rely to me the secret of blueberry picking. To my horror, in five minutes time she had already filled one quart while my sad little pint was barley full.
I said to her “this isn’t easy!” In hopes she’d reveal her secret. Instead she let out a loud snort and giggle and said “you should try picking strawberries”
Another woman chimed in to my defense “yes! However, raspberries are easier!” I giggled and they giggled with me.
They told me about their goal of making blueberry vinegar and I told them about my goal to just fill this pint. We laughed a bit together and in no time, my pint was priming with blueberries and conversation.
I figured the secret was just friendly conversation with strangers. Soon, it was time for me to go. I thanked them and they wished me luck.
I drove back to my airstream and tasted my blueberries without even a wash. They were fantastic!