Last week, I took the boys to a U-pick blueberry farm called Chapman’s. We came home with about a gallon of blueberries for $20. I love getting us outside for most any reason, especially one that connects us to real food. And bonus–we saw an alligator in the lake at the edge of the farm.
Growing up, I picked food, both wild and farmed…cucumbers, okra, corn from the garden; blackberries and huckleberries growing wild in the woods near our house. So driving 40 minutes to pick berries would seem a little extravagant if we had access to acres of countryside right out our back door the way I did as a child. Alas, we do not, so off to Chapman’s we went.
I held the bucket while the boys roamed the rows, moving faster than I cared to. I slowly moved from bush to bush, picking the berries that had been overlooked. The boys used their t-shirts as aprons, dropping berries in their shirts and then running back to the bucket periodically to drop them off.
This reminded me so much of blackberry picking as a child. My earliest memories of these fruits were of plucking the berries one by one, dropping them into my bucket one at a time. It took a few seasons to understand I could pick faster and easier if I gathered them into my hand and then dropped them by the handful into the bucket. Evidently my boys learned this at an earlier age than I did.
Either method you choose of filling your bucket–dropping the berries in one by one or a bunch at a time–the container eventually gets full.
Placing berries in the bucket one at a time slowly and steadily raises the level of berries in the bucket. Waiting to drop them in by the handfuls can challenge one’s perspective: For a few minutes, it looks as though nothing is happening. As if no work is being done, nothing is being added. But then, you dump a whole gob of berries in your bucket, and the quantity increases all at once. You see that progress was being made all along. You just had to wait for it.
Sometimes we simply must trust that the work to fill the bucket is being done, even if we can’t see it happening until later.