Picking a Winner
I reach in tentatively, cautiously. My outstretched
finger gently touches the sphere. Then gently giving a little
tug the blue tidbit comes free in my hand.
|Picking Blueberries from
I pop it into my mouth and bite down. It bursts against my
teeth showering my tongue with sweetness. You can’t get
blueberries any fresher than this. The berry doesn’t have
time to give up its moisture to the hot summer air. Pop! Pow! I
do it again.
I find myself ambling from row after row of
trampled grass. Separated by rows of shoulder-high bushes.
Each bush carrying a payload of blue clusters. They give up
their fruit with a slight resistance when ripe, and hold tightly
to those berries which are yet to mature.
Every few rows
I notice a change. The bushes are a little taller, or a little
squatter. The blueberries are smaller, or in tighter clusters.
Wooden signs, hand-painted, solve the mystery – I have crossed
the growing boundary of the particular berry type.
signs direct the way
The freshest, ripe blueberries right from the field
Who knew? There are different types of blueberries. Each one
has a distinct flavor note. I tasted six varieties.
A very flavorful berry.
Dixi- The berries are firm and
aromatic berry is liked for its high dessert quality.
Pemberton- The berries are large, dark blue, firm and slightly
Jersey- The berries range from medium to large
that are firm with a medium blue color.
Blue Ray- Very
large, light blue, firm and aromatic.
Blue Crop-The berries
are large, very light blue, firm and slightly aromatic.
On this organic/sustainable family run farm of 42 acres, in the
shadow of 4167 ft. tall Mt. Si, about 30 miles from Seattle
there is a blueberry hill. (I find myself humming the tune from
the 1950’s Fats Domino song). And yes indeed, I found my
|Mount Si (pronounced
sigh) is a mountain in the
U.S. state of Washington
about 45 minutes from Seattle
The 4-mile (6.4 km) long Mount Si trail climbs a total
of 3,500 feet (1,100 m) reach to the summit ridge. The summit of
Mount Si can then be reached by an exposed scramble, class 3, up
the north side of the summit block which is known as the
I grab my 5-gallon bucket and develop purpose as I pick
more and more of the little blue orbs. The air is hot, but
breezy. Every so often some bees buzz by, but they are not
bothersome. The occasional waft of gnats hover above me
for an instant and then are gone. My mind wanders and is at
peace in this meditative task. Soon, my bucket is full.
|Picking blueberries at
ByBee Farms in North Bend, Washington
I return to the “checkout counter”, where my plunder is
weighed, sans the ones in my belly. Certainly better than
a trip to the grocery store for weeks-old produce. This
fruit is fresher, cheaper, and much more fun to buy this way.
|Checkout counter, where
the blueberries are weighed is a little different than
the grocery store
|A worker empties a
bucket of blueberries for weighing
ByBee Farms Website
Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and have been
labeled a super-food by some. In fact, a recent article in
ScienceDaily.com states that
Blueberries May Help Reduce Belly Fat, Diabetes Risk.
US National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health
study indicates that wild blueberry juice supplementation
for 12 weeks improved memory function in older adults with early
memory decline. Also observed are trends suggesting diminished
depressive symptoms and reduced fasting glucose levels.
A Medical News Today webpage cites
health benefits that blueberries my potentially provide:
If You Go
around mid-late July each year but each year is different
depending on certain weather conditions.
To get to the farm take North Bend exit 31
from eastbound Interstate 90. At the bottom of the off-ramp turn
left. Stay on this street until the fourth stoplight. Turn right
at the fourth stoplight onto North Bend Way. Go two blocks on
North Bend Way then turn left onto Ballarat Ave. Stay on
Ballarat Ave. as you head out of town. Then turn right on SE
92nd St., then turn left on the first paved road (432nd Ave.
SE). Or during blueberry season you can follow the u-pick
blueberry signs to the farm. We are approximately 2 miles from
From Carnation/Fall City on ST route 202, head towards
Snoqualmie Falls and look for the Bybee Farms sign at the
beginning of Mill Pond Rd before crossing the Snoqualmie River.
Follow the remaining signs out to our farm.
About BYBEE Farms
42930 SE 92nd
North Bend, WA 98045
Phone # - 425-888-5745
E-mail - email@example.com
Hours: 9am to 8pm 7 days
a week ~ We accept cash or
checks only. NO credit cards
**NO DOGS allowed in blueberry
The Farm’s History
The farm has been
in the family since 1946. It was originally 80 acres and we now
have approximately 42 acres remaining. The current family owners
are Steve & Jayne Bybee. We bought the farm from our father in
1980 and 3 years later planted 7 more acres of new blueberry
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