Good news arrives in many forms.
Newspaper headlines reporting the ends of wars.
Phone calls announcing births of children.
Emails declaring blueberry picking season?
Most of you were with me until that last one. But once you’ve spent some time at Rittman Orchards & Farm Market in Doylestown, Ohio, you will likely be wondering how you can subscribe for blueberry emails.
On a recent rainy Friday afternoon, I was perusing my Gmail and saw a Rittman Orchards update. Due to the torrential rain, we were receiving in Ohio that day, the orchard’s pickers were unable to harvest the blueberry crop, so “U-pick” blueberry season would commence Saturday morning.
So, first thing Saturday morning Lenny, Sweet Pea, and I prepared for a trip to the blueberry patch. We filled the water bottles, slathered on the sunscreen, and hopped in the truck and headed for Doylestown. Of course, Sweet Pea was decked out in rainbow shorts, matching tank top, and “wellies.” What else do you wear blueberry picking?
For total transparency, I must admit that this was not our first trip to Rittman Orchards. We have a tradition of picking apples here every autumn. But this was our first trip blueberry picking.
The first thing we learned upon arriving at the orchard is that you can bring your own container(s) for picking, or you can purchase one. While in the market be sure to check out all of the fresh baked goods, apples, candy, and cook books available for purchase. (Note: We will do a more in-depth look at the market when we visit the orchard for our annual apple-picking trip.) After weighing your container, it’s off to the blueberry patch!
A short walk, with a great view of northwestern Wayco, led us past raspberries, strawberries, and cherries. The orchard has several long rows of blueberries – each a different species – so they ripen at different times. There were so many, we could have filled our bucket from one bush.
But we were constantly drawn further down the rows by large groupings of berries (and our two-year-old). Even with so many berries, it took nearly thirty minutes to fill our bucket. It might have gone faster, but Sweet Pea definitely ate more blueberries than she put in the bucket. She would walk to a different bush and after few minutes of silence, Lenny or I would call out, “How are you doing, Sweet Pea?” In reply, we would receive a blue-toothed smile. I’m not well-versed in rules associated with blueberry picking, but I’m pretty sure we breached some sort of etiquette. Please forgive us, Rittman Orchards.
After filling our bucket, we journeyed back to the market and paid for our berries. The orchard charges by weight, so you can pick as much or as little as you would like. You aren’t restrained to specific sizes (pints, quarts, etc.). Our blueberries are destined for yogurt/granola parfaits, muffins, oatmeal, and handfuls as snacks. We really enjoyed ourselves and the orchard had a beautiful crop.
We were too early to visit the Orchard’s hard cider brewery, Bent Ladder. We will definitely be making a visit after baby number two arrives.
Rittman Orchards has a great website, blog, and email updates. Be sure to visit www.rittmanorchards.com for more information about the orchard, current fruits and vegetables that are for sale, and updates on upcoming events. You can also visit at 13548 Mt. Eaton Rd. N., Doylestown, Ohio 44230.
Until next time, we hope you enjoy the small town life!