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The best part of June in central Virginia is blueberry harvest.

Botanists estimate that blueberries burst onto the scene more than 13,000 years ago! The little blue fruit that our country has grown to know and love is indigenous to North America and has deep roots in our country’s history. These blue jewels are reputed to have both nutritional and medicinal properties, therefore I consume blueberries daily as part of my kale smoothie.

O'Neil blueberries beginning to ripen

O’Neil highbush blueberries beginning to ripen

This year I draped the blueberry plants in tulle and used clothespins to hold in place. Much improved method over bird netting. This idea was shared by a good garden friend. What do they remind you of? Ghosts or runaway brides?

This year I draped the blueberry plants in tulle and used clothespins to hold in place, a  much improved method over bird netting. This idea was shared by a veteran garden friend, Jan Spires. What do they remind you of? Ghosts or runaway brides?

O'Neil blueberry variety is my favorite here in my gardens. Large, juicy fruit greets me every day for nearly one month in June.

O’Neil blueberry variety is my favorite here in my central Virginia gardens. Large, juicy berries greet me every day for nearly one month in June.

After harvesting in the early morning, I place the unwashed fruit on a sheet pan and let them rest at room temperature for twenty-four hours. Any unripened berries will continue to ripen, and of course, I can snitch a handfull as I go by during the day! As the fruit ripens, I place in glass jars in the freezer. I am not a fan of plastic...

After harvesting in the early morning, I place the unwashed fruit on a sheet pan and let them rest at room temperature for twenty-four hours. Any unripe berries will continue to ripen, and of course, I snitch a handful as I go by during the day! When the fruit fully ripens, I place them in glass jars and place in the freezer. I am not a fan of plastic…

Forget the pancakes, waffles and crepes...popovers are fast, fun and deelish!

Forget the pancakes, waffles, and crepes…popovers are fast, fun and deelish!

 Sunday mornings I crave a wee breakfast that is special; a meal that celebrates the end of a very long week.

Sunday mornings I crave a wee breakfast that is special; a meal that celebrates the end of a very long week and a plentiful harvest!

can you taste this? Popovers made with almond milk are the best and fresh blueberry conserve, made at home in minutes is splendid with a bit of whipped cream

can you taste this? Popovers made with almond milk are the best and fresh blueberry conserve, made at home in minutes, is splendid with a bit of whipped cream

Cookbooks bulge with blueberry recipes, as this fruit is a national favorite. If you do not grow your own blueberries, find a pick-your-own farm nearby, pack up the kids, and head out for a morning of fun.

Most blueberries do not require any spraying, making them most desirable. In fall, the leaves turn a handsome scarlet hue. They are also easy grow plants, so why not consider a few for a sunny spot in your garden? Your local extension office can offer suggestions for the best variety in your growing zone and once established, this powerhouse berry will reward you for years to come.

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved