July 12, 2009
When Pete and I were planning our garden, we thought about what we most like to eat. Tomatoes, basil (if we could grow mozzarella we would), potatoes, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb topped the list. What can we say? We're pie (or tart or crisp or crumble) people.
We flipped through the Burpee catalog and selected two types of blueberry plants — "Blue Ray" and "Blue Jay". We thought it was so cute...they named that particular variety after the bird.
Fast forward: Year Two. Our blueberry plants had finally matured enough to produce almost a handful of the sweet fruits. We went out each morning to check on them and waited patiently and excitedly for them to ripen. Patience is key when gardening, and often rewarded. Anyone who has ever plucked a sun-warmed tomato from the vine knows that there's a time when it's at its peak of ripeness and will almost fall into your hand. We were waiting for such a moment. At last, the day had arrived for our blueberries...or so we thought.
We started off to the garden with a small bowl in-hand and turned the corner of our house, just in time to scare the blue jay flying away with the very last berry in its beak! Hopes dashed, spirits squelched...we'd have to wait another long year.
Year Three (this year): As soon as any sign of berry formed on our bushes, we were quick to notice how stealthily the blue jays would land on our roof and tilt their heads to spy the bushes, taking note of any blue shades coming through the green berries — just as we were. We immediately covered everything with bird netting. Take that!
So far so good. This is the third batch of blueberries we've picked so far this year and we hope there's more to come!