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The month of June is blueberry harvest season here in my central Virginia garden. Planted four years ago, the O’Neil high bush variety thrives, sans disease or insect pressure. The ongoing 2015 harvest is a banner year!

This season I decided to use tulle instead of bird netting to keep the harvest bird-free.

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?

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. What do these blueberries 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 high bush variety is my favorite here in my Virginia gardens. Large, juicy fruit greets 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 unripened berries will continue to ripen, and of course, I can snitch a handful 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…

 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. Here I whipped up a quick batch of popovers and served them with fresh blueberry conserve and whipped cream! Yum!

today is a good day for blueberry jam, as the berries just keep coming

today is a good day for blueberry jam, as the berries just keep coming

I began by cleaning my French copper preserving pan with salt and lemon

I began by cleaning my French copper preserving pan with salt and lemon

following a great recipe from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, the ingredients came together quickly.

following a great recipe from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, the ingredients came together quickly

back to the kiss system...simple, pure, flavorful

back to the kiss system…simple, pure, flavorful

as the pan's contents bubbled, the color deepened

as the pan’s contents bubbled, the color deepened

using the Rachel Saunders' technique of sterilizing the jars in the oven, the final jam returns to the oven for 15 minutes longer to seal ~ a huge improvement over the boiling kettle process.

using Rachel Saunders’ technique of sterilizing the jars in the oven, the final jam returns to the oven for 15 minutes longer to seal ~ a huge improvement over the boiling kettle process

projects like this are very satisfying

projects like this are very satisfying

the little lemon that could

the little lemon that could

O'Neil blueberries beginning to ripen

O’Neil blueberries beginning to ripen and keep on giving the entire month of June

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with July 4th just around the corner, blueberries make a stunning dessert presence ~ simple, fresh, delicious

my collection of French copper serves me well for a lifetime

my collection of French copper serves me well for my lifetime

Blueberries are a very old fruit, and are native to the US. They are reputed to have both health and nutritional benefits, and are very easy to grow. Recipes are handed down for generations, lauding this well-loved fruit. If you don’t grow blueberries, find a local pick-your-own farm, load up the kids, and have a morning of flavorful fun.

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wishing you and yours a pleasant and safe summer, while the flutterbies keep me company here at Swallowtail Cottage. Bon Appetit!

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved