Remember how I mentioned the other day that summer was back in Seattle? Well, the gray skies and 60 degree temperatures returned on Friday, but guess what I found out? 60 degrees and gray skies is perfect weather for blueberry picking. My summer bucket list just received another check mark.
Bergen and I met Nina and her two kids (ages 1 & nearly 5) at Larsen Lake in Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, to see just how many blueberries we could gather in our buckets. We both strapped the babies into their ergos on our backs, and with Maya in the lead we started down the main path. Hundreds of blueberry bushes line this greenbelt area in the middle of suburbia allowing us to have our choice of spots to start from.
As we started picking away, Maya and I took Nina’s advice:
- Pay attention to the color of the berry. The darker the better. If the blueberry isn’t blue, it’s not ready to be picked!
- If the berry just seems to fall right off the stem, it’s probably a good choice!
- Look for a bush with lots of berries. That way, you’ll maximize your time at that particular spot.
- Seek out more fruitful bushes by moving in from the trail, and front of the patch.
After a 1/2 hour or so, we took a break so that babies could have a walk, Maya could have a run, and Nina and I could explore the beautiful surroundings. As we wandered the trail, we ran into fisherman, nice ladies with dogs, joggers, and of course other families enjoying the day just as we were. Maya noticed the tall weeping willows, the “river” (stream), and the cute foot bridge we traveled across. The area also features hemlocks and cedars, and is a great spot for birders. Had we continued on the trail via the Lake Hills greenbelt, we would have eventually ended up at the slightly larger, Phantom Lake.
Recharged from our walk, we got back to the task of filling our buckets.
An hour more of picking, and everyone was tired and hungry (for more than just berries) so we made our way back to the stand to settle up. I ended up with a little less than 3 pounds of blueberries. Want to guess my total price? $3.35! Nina is apparently a super-picker (and she had a helper), and picked a little over $5 in berries.
Info to Know:
- Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm is located in Bellevue, Washington. From I-90, take take the exit for 148th Avenue SE (11 B), and head North. Turn right into the parking lot just past SE 8th Street.
- Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am-6pm, June 20th through the 1st week of October (as of July 2012)
- 700 148th Avenue SE Bellevue, WA
- The stand accepts cash and check only so be prepared!
- There are pre-picked fruits (blueberries, of course) and veggies for sale.
- The stand will provide you with one of their buckets for easy gathering.
- More blueberry farm recommendations in the Seattle area from Red Tricycle
Feel free to share your favorite blueberry-friendly recipes by leaving a comment!
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