Blueberry Bonanza!

We love blueberries, and I think most people like them. Not only do they taste great, but they are great for you. Yet, they can be a bit pricey in the off-season, which is most of the year. Happily, with April coming up fast, blueberry season is arriving and will be here for the next three months. The best way to get fresh organic blueberries is to grow your own. When we lived in Florida, I surrounded my garden with several varieties of 30 blueberry bushes. They had different ripening times, so we were in blueberry heaven every spring.

The limestone-based soil around San Antonio is not a good place to grow blueberries because they need an acidic soil to grow well. Yet, even here we found a way to get a taste of homegrown blueberries. We filled a half whiskey barrel with good soil, added sulfur to acidify it, and when it was ready, planted a small blueberry bush in it. Today we have a good blueberry bush producing a nice little blueberry crop. They’ll be ripe in another week and we’re looking forward to tasting them. There’s nothing like the burst of flavor you get when you bite into a ripe plump blueberry.

The problem is that the birds and the squirrels like them just as much as we do, and we lost half of our little crop to them last year. We bought a few yards of black netting, and yesterday I devised a primitive but simple support system for it. Now the netting covers the blueberry bush to foil our raiders. These blueberries are going to be the best yet!

By the way, we discovered a nice blueberry bonanza at our HEB grocery store to satisfy our blueberry cravings in the off-season. The store carries a two-pound plastic bag of organic blueberries in its frozen fruit section all year around. They are nice plump blueberries, almost as good as those freshly picked. At $6.95 for two pounds, they’re a good bargain. Now we enjoy great blueberries all year long!

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