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The Beautiful Blueberry


Gardeners know a special feeling. The certain, singular contentment of picking fresh fruit, harvest basket in hand and the sun on your shoulders, is incomparable to nearly any other human experience. And it makes sense, gathering food is as old as humankind.

Gardening is a labor of love. Time, money, sweat; there is investment every year that we hope will be rewarded with abundant fresh food and mental clarity by the end of the season. Imagine, though, planting once and simply gathering thereafter. Think of it whimsically— this ancient, primal activity, harkening back to our ancestors. Think of it practically— prepare the planting site once and sit back and relax. Edible landscaping.

Consider the beautiful blueberry. These tiny fruits are a special treat from the market, worth every penny when they’re in season but flavorless and still expensive when they’re not. It’s time to forget store-bought blueberries! We Northern gardeners are lucky because we can grow a huge variety of these nutrient rich berries and reap the harvest for years. As if the fruit weren’t enough, pollinator friendly flowers and perfect fall color make them a beautiful landscape plant. The red fall color alone surely attracted our ancestors to these amazing plants.

Blueberries are not a terribly demanding shrub. Like many gardening endeavors, choosing an appropriate site, proper preparation, and good cultural care ensures longevity. Working peat moss and compost into the soil and watering consistently lays the foundation for fruit. Patience, gentle pruning, and acidifying the soil if needed is the maintenance. Collecting the fruit, engaging in one of the most human activities there is, is the sweetest reward.

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