Local Producer: Beck Brothers Blueberries

Local Producer: Beck Brothers Blueberries

May 22

Photo of blueberry rowsAnxious for a taste of this year’s blueberry harvest, Laura and I drove over to Windermere this morning to harvest our own at Beck Brothers Blueberries. Incongruously located in the middle of upper-class suburban sprawl, the farm is clean and friendly enough to make Martha Stewart proud. The owner of the farm (one of the Beck brothers?) told me he’d lived on that same street all his life, that eighteen years ago he’d built the immaculate house which now greets U-Pick customers every weekend. Citrus trees line the long driveway, and a good-size pond helps cool the air around the acres of blueberry rows.

Photo of Beck Brothers Blueberry Farm sales stand

For those who just want fresh blueberries, Beck Brothers offers already-picked packages. But for me and Laura, that was contrary to the entire excursion — we wanted to pick the berries ourselves. So, camera and water bottle in hand, we grabbed a bucket and headed off in search of a row that wasn’t already picked over.

Photo of Laura picking blueberries

Photo of blueberries being hoarded in John's shirtLaura took the bucket, so I ended up hoarding most of my berries in a makeshift pouch (i.e. the bottom of my shirt). The bushes were so small, much different from what I was expecting, but were planted in raised beds, which made reaching down a little easier. Aside from my encounter with an alien bug, my picking experience was positive. The sun was brutal, no doubt about it, but the work was rewarding. Despite the sweat dripping down our necks, we drove away from Windermere happy, with about 8 pounds of blueberries. The total cost of our beautiful blueberry bounty? $12!

Photo of a giant bag of blueberriesPhoto of our beautiful blueberry bounty

Of course, I have to point out that they are NOT organic. They use synthetic fertilizer at the beginning of the season, and they spray pesticides right up until the bushes start blooming. However, I was very happy to receive informative and friendly answers to my questions about these things. The brothers certainly have nothing to hide! So stop by, and support your local blueberry farmers.

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