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Hard to beat blueberries picked in U.P.

Food and community

August 9, 2014
Abbey Palmer , Mining Journal

Blueberry picking is a tradition here. The month of July is even called Miin Giizis or Berry Moon in the Anishinabe language, and blueberries have been part of the diet of people living in the Upper Peninsula for a very long time. The heat of the midsummer sun, the plunk of the berries hitting the bottom of the bucket, and the hot smell of pine needles and sandy soil of Jack Pine barrens beside a two-track are an important part of July and August for many of us in the Upper Peninsula. I planted a few cold-hardy blueberry bushes from a nursery at my house this year, and learned that the blueberry was not domesticated until the turn of the last century, then was not farmed extensively until after several varieties were bred in the 1920s. The blueberry has been wild for much of our interaction with it, I've learned that for the best tasting berries, I have to go in search of wild places.



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