August 1, 2009

What The Neighbor Told Us

While Dan and I were out calculating the details of planting our hedge, one of the neighbors from across the street ran over and asked us, "Have you found your blueberry?"

Not having a clue as to what he was talking about, we introduced ourselves. He responded with his name and then added, "I was just wondering if you found your blueberry."

"Our blueberry?"

"Yeah. There used to be a bush over there ....... by that sweet gum tree." And he pointed toward a clump of trees in the field where a lot of undergrowth needed to be cut back.

I never would have guessed there's a blueberry bush in there.We told him no, we hadn't, and thanked him for letting us know. He also told us where there used to be a row of thornless blackberries along the edge of the field. In talking with him for a little bit, he told us he'd lived there for 40 years and when he was a boy, our house was owned by two retired lady school teachers. He used to go swimming in their swimming pool. Swimming pool? That's right. There used to be an inground swimming pool about where our carport is now.

After we said good bye, we went to hunt out those bushes. I didn't figure any blueberry bush could have survived the years of neglect this place has seen, but when we went to look for it, lo and behold....

Blueberry bush before clearing out.Believe it or not, there's a big blueberry bush in there.

After we finished planting the hedge, I set out to liberate that bush from the overgrowth of unwanteds.

Blueberry bush after  clearing out.I was able to clear out around it to give it better air circulation and sun. There are tons of blueberries on it, just beginning to ripen.

Blueberries beginning to ripen.My guess is that these are rabbiteye. This type is common in the southeastern US because they well suited for our acid soils. Close-up of rabbiteye blueberry. My bush fits the description too, with the berries having a pink ring on the blossom end, resembling the eye of a rabbit (see little photo at right.) Reminds me of Rudy, the ruby-eyed white angora bunny I used to have. Rabbiteye blueberries are evidently smaller and seedier than other types, and not considered the best quality. Mine aren't the best flavored raw, but they'll be fine for baking.

For my first picking, I was able to get about two quarts.

1st pickingSome of them weren't ripe enough, but with the robins and mockingbirds fussing at me the entire time I was picking, I kept thinking that if I didn't get them, they would. Even so, there are plenty more so we'll all get a share.

I never did find the thornless blackberries, however. The place our neighbor pointed to was overgrown with a lot of things but no blackberry bushes. I'm not complaining however, because if I had my druthers, it would be for the blueberries hands down.

What The Neighbor Told Us is copyright August 2009 


Theresa said...

Good thing you found it before the future sheep or goats did! How fun. BTW, the hedge looks great.

Woolly Bits said...

lucky you, blueberries don't like our soil here:(( if this one thrives, you can always add a few other varieties later (cranberries too, maybe?). we could exchange blueberries and blackberries, I have loads of those wild ones around here:)) not thornless, mind you, but in my experience the wild, thorny ones taste better anyway. so a blueberry cake (or muffins?) is on the table for the weekend?

Life Looms Large said...

Yum blueberries!

Blueberry season just arrived here. Love them!

That's great that your neighbor came over to tell you stories of your house and land! I love the two schoolteachers and the inground pool under your carport!!


Mim said...

Who knows what treasures await. Now fun is that!

bspinner said...

I am so jealous!!!!! I've always wanted blueberries but DH doesn't and so of course we don't. I'm thinking next spring I'll just go out and buy a couple of bushes and if doesn't want to plant them I will.

These stories about your house and property are better than the HGTV show "If Walls Could Talk".

Renee Nefe said...

what a handy neighbor to have around! Did you share any blueberries with him?

I was hopeing to share some of my apples with our neighbor, but alas the hail made it so even I won't get any. pout Oh well perhaps next year.

Michelle said...

Hey, that's a GOOD story about a neighbor! (Just have to tease a little after the hedge business. :-) And a blueberry bush - congratulations!!

Tina T-P said...

My sister and brother-in-law have big blueberry bushes like that on their blueberry farm - some over 50 or 60 years old - lucky you - See if you can find some wide shiny ribbon to tie on the branches - that might keep the birds away until you can harvest-

Your garden is fantastic - and you have done so much on the house since I've "been by to visit" - Good for you - What a labor of love! T.


The beautiful bowl of blueberries screamed blueberry muffins at me. Oh yum, now I'm really hungry. It's great that the neighbor has some history about your place to share with you, what a great discovery!

Julie said...

You lucky little girl! I love both so I hope you still find the blackberrie bush.
Feel free to mail me a pie! HA HA!!

Dorothy said...

Oh, I had no idea that blueberries grow on trees!! Their relatives that grow here in Derbyshire, England, the Whinberries (a.k.a. Bilberries), grow on small bushes, very low to the ground.

I like the sound of your neighbour, it's good to meet people that have interesting memories .

Sharon said...

I gave you an award today. You can pick it up on my blog - take your time.

Bruce said...

Woolly bits, if you want to grow blueberries in an area without acid soil, you can acidify the soil by getting a few pounds of sulfur from a chemical factory, or industrial agricultural supply warehouse.