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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh Blueberries

My first thought when it comes to blueberries is always of Violet Beauregarde and her quest to sample to experimental bubble gum in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This past Sunday, we were fortunate enough to tour the Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm in the foothills east of Chico above Forest Ranch. No swelling children or juicing rooms were involved. But it was amazing to watch pickers comb through these vine-like rows of blueberry plants plucking ripe fruit from the vine with the same technique that tweens use to text thousands of insignificant messages each day to friends.

It's truly an art, especially on the second day of harvest when there are still a good number of berries not quite yet ready to be picked. After all, John and Armen Carlon's goal is a perfect pint of blueberries, every time. And that starts in the field if not well before it.

I'll share the experience with you over the next couple of days, along with my many photos from the day. It was truly enjoyable. If you're anxious, you can read Nancy Lindahl's column over at the Chico Enterprise-Record website. And make sure you stop by their booth at your local farmer's market, here in Chico, at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Berkeley (Center Street), Oakland (Grand Lake), and at Marin's Civic Center, all on Saturdays.

In a good season, John and Armen hope to pack 17,000 of these flats with perfect pints of blueberries. I'm not sure I could eat that many of these delicious berries, but I'd sure love to give it a try.

Eric Lovelin Photography


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