Waterford farm offers you-pick blueberries during summer seasonBY MELISSA HUTSELL
Waterford’s family-owned and operated Blueberry Bluff attracts people from all over California, Nevada and Texas, every year during blueberry season. The farm, which exclusively sells blueberries grown for the Central California climate, is only open for a few months each year and offers costumers a chance to get blueberries as fresh and local as they come.
"Last year, we had people coming from Fort Bragg to Chowchilla, the Bay Area to Carson City,” said owner David Harris. “We have several families that have a kind of family get together and pick blueberries with members coming from Davis, Fremont, Modesto, and Texas to meet at our place."
The farm not only offers visitors a chance to choose their own berries, costumers can also choose to buy in bulk or pick enough for a pie.
"Some come back two or three times a week, all season, and just pick enough to last a few days," Harris said. “We also give quantity discounts so some families pick a lot and freeze them.
"Some say the berries taste better, some like the calm atmosphere, some come because it is close."
Sam and Nicky Van Dyke have been taking their family to Blueberry Bluff since it opened five years ago.
“We bring our kids and eat as many berries as our hearts desire,” Sam Van Dyke said “The bushes are always so full. The berries are enormous and very good.”
The Van Dykes and their three kids, who bike to the farm several times per season, say the experience is better than going to a theme park. Some of their favorite recipes include blueberry muffins and smoothies.
“We have them in our fridge all summer,” he said.IF YOU'RE GOINGLOCATION:
Blueberry Bluff, 684 S. Missouri Ave., Waterford, CAHOURS:
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The owners are able to make special arrangements if someone needs to come earlier, especially for young children.
The farm is open to the public throughout June, but the ending date, which can fall between early July-August, is dependent on the weather and updated on the Blueberry Bluff website.
A two-gallon bucket, which holds 11-12 pounds each, will be provided for costumers (of course you do not have to pick any set amount). The farm also provides plastic stacks to take the berries home in, but recommends bringing your own shallow boxes.
Visitors are also recommended to wear close-toed shoes. Pets are not allowed in the field for various health reasons.
0 - 24 Pounds $ 2.75 per pound
25 - 49 Pounds $ 2.50 per pound
50 - 74 Pounds $ 2.25 per pound
75 - 99 Pounds $ 2.00 per pound
100 - up Pounds $ 1.75 per pound
*For people who do not have the time to pick their own berries, the team at Blueberry Bluff can have the berries picked and ready for the costumer at an additional cost.
(209) 874-1260 or http://www.blueberrybluff.com/Fact Box:
½ c. + 1 Tablespoon softened butter
¾ c. sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ c. milk
2 c. fresh blueberries
½ white granulated sugar + 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ c. softened butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 11” x 7” x 1 ½” baking pan.
In large bowl add together: softened butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Thoroughly cream until light and fluffy.
Add: sifted all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir in above ingredients scraping sides and bottom of bowl until smooth.
Spread batter evenly into greased baking pan.
Sprinkle fresh blueberries on top of batter.
With a fork, mash together all ingredients until crumbly and spread the crumbles on top of the blueberries and batter.
Bake 45 minutes. Yum!