Blueberry Fields Forever

Yesterday morning I woke up to a beautiful sunny day.  For anyone who has visited Tennessee in the late Spring or early Summer, you know that the humidity will kill you before the heat does, and the humidity has been super low this week. With an unforeseen decrease in humidity I had been grasping at straws on how to take advantage of the pleasant temperatures, but lucky for me I woke up to a message from a friend who had a plan to pick blueberries.  I have yet to take the littles to a "pick your own" anything, but it was for sure on my Summer Bucket List.  There is nothing I enjoy more than a spur of the moment idea, and my dear friend always delivers.  "When do you want to go?" I ask, "Now", she replies.  No time to overthink it.  Sunscreen, adequate clothing, gas in the tank, bottled water, brushed teeth, hair... Well, it'll have to be good enough.  Thank god for spontaneity of a good friend with low standards for appearances right? Off we go!

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The biggest question is, where are we going exactly?  With no address in hand, we are equipped with a phone number to a blueberry farm with over 300 bushes to pick from.  This is one of those friends that I trust with navigation; however, she is also a friend who loves to ride around and explore alternate routes and doesn't mind getting lost.  Getting lost on a back road is a fantastic adventure until you have children.  The middle root is constantly afraid we are getting lost.  No matter how many times I try and tell him that getting lost makes for the most memorable adventures, he’s not buying it.  The tiny root is the one that asks all the questions.  She and the middle have always needed a play by play of what exactly it is that we are doing, but she is a next level planner.  I'm not sure how you break children of this, but even my own deep seeded desire to plan things out can be overthrown by a sudden desire to go against the grain. Not these two. Despite the myriad of questions and a long-winded middle root with his mind on pop sockets (If you don't know, google it), we made our way to Lauderdale County, Alabama to the Reynolds Blueberry Farm.

 A framed newspaper article featuring Reynolds Blueberry Farm sat beside the weighing scale.  Reynolds still uses the honor system allowing patrons to pick when he is away.  

A framed newspaper article featuring Reynolds Blueberry Farm sat beside the weighing scale.  Reynolds still uses the honor system allowing patrons to pick when he is away.  

When we arrived, we were greeted by the owner, who was more than happy to show us where to grab a bucket and which direction to go to find the blueberry bushes.  He was kind enough to give us a little bit of history of the place, as well as what type of blueberries were out there to be picked.  It didn't take long to start filling our buckets with berries.  Despite the climbing temps, the children absolutely loved picking berries.  Taking them into a field of organically grown blueberry bushes meant they were able to taste test the product while filling their baskets and it made my heart happy to watch them experience it all.  I have always been fascinated with everything that goes into organic farming and gardening.  Being able to eat something straight off the vine, from a tree, or off the ground and not have to do anything more than wipe away the dirt that helped to create it is magical.

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It took us about an hour or so for the littles and me to pick almost 4 lbs of berries and for my berry picking compadre to pick a solid 4. Definitely worth the drive, and as always, the conversation paid off in spades. Everyone needs that one person in their life that says "Let's go.  Like NOW," and she is that person for me.  There is an unspoken rule between us that when it comes to over-planning, there is a very fine line between going somewhere and finding reasons not to go. It was an adventure and a Summertime memory as sweet as blueberry syrup on blueberry pancakes.