With an invitation to pick and eat as many blueberries as one wants, COL(R) Jack Story waved early morning guests to hundreds of bushes filled with so many berries their branches bent or broke because of the weight. He attributed the A & J Farms bumper crop to the spring rain.
PFC Logan Hormor, whose father grows blueberry bushes in New Hampshire, agreed. With the help of 7-year-old Dallin Shillig, the two were busy filling a two-gallon basket.
“These are nice blueberry bushes,” Hormor said. “I don’t even have to move, there are so many berries.”
SGT Aaron Shillig, who brought his family to the u-pick farm last year, said blueberry picking was a great activity for his family of eight. His wife, Mandi, put the family in teams and challenged them to a five-bucket goal. Her partner was 2-year-old Chloe.
“She’s a good picker,” Mandi said. “She knows to pick only the blue berries.”
Last year, Mandi used the harvest for everything, including making syrup.
This year, Anne Story had copies of recipes for all things blueberry, including wine, ready for her customers as they paid. The couple keeps a record of how many gallons are picked.
“One Saturday, we sold 60 gallons,” Anne said. “We had Soldiers just back from Afghanistan come and pick. They spent the day, talking to Jack, relaxing … just getting away from the barracks.”