June 5, 2018

Arkansas Blueberries and Flag Day Celebration

One of the best things about an Arkansas summer is all the locally-grown fresh produce. Arkansas summer eating is the best! Just last month we talked about strawberries and this month blueberries are ripening, and it’s time to pick and eat. YUM! Next up will be watermelons.

But, let’s give blueberries their due credit for being awesome. They are delicious, healthy, and refreshing.

I gathered up my crew for the full experience of Arkansas blueberries, and we went to pick our own. I gave each kid a bucket hoping they would fill it up with some diligent hard work.

I’m pretty sure that it was an equal ratio of what went into their mouths and what went into the bucket.

I should’ve probably paid the farm for double the blueberries to account for what they consumed.

Yes, it is hot while picking blueberries or harvesting any other kind of fruit in an Arkansas summer. But it is important to me to teach my kids how things are grown, and that food doesn’t just magically appear in a grocery store.

It ends up being a fun family tradition that I hope we continue for years!

Of course, after picking the blueberries, the fun part is deciding what to do with them.

We eat ours as snacks, make homemade blueberry ice-cream, blueberry bread, blueberry muffins, and our blueberries end up as a side dish to every meal of the day.

But, this year, I realized that our family blueberry outing was close to Flag Day. I typically make the ever common flag dessert using fresh blueberries and strawberries.

But this year I wanted to try something different. Red, white, and blue desserts are a staple of summer! With Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day you can not escape the patriotic-themed food and decor in the summer.

I love it. The red, white and blue colors send the message of freedom and family to me. Summer is such a fun time of year, and we wouldn’t have our freedom in the summer if it weren’t for all the people who sacrificed for the Red, White, and Blue. So, we might as well celebrate it and decorate everything with it, including our summer treats.

Since we veered away from the typical flag dessert this year, we made Patriotic Cones and filled them with our blueberry plunder.

This dessert/snack was super QUICK AND EASY! That is my kind of treat. I was able to let the kids make these all on their own. It was a simple dip, sprinkle, and fill. When loading a waffle cone down with patriotic sprinkles on top of melted chocolate,  you can’t make it look bad. We had these finished and filled to the brim with blueberries in under 10 minutes.

We talked about Flag Day and how we got our American flag. I love it when we have fun and I’m able to throw in some education.

We even set the atmosphere with these simple patriotic centerpieces. They are perfect for your table or porch all summer long.

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Because we live in the south, I’m sure everyone has about 100 empty mason jars at their house somewhere. I use them in decorating for any occasion. We bought some flags, ribbons, and flowers and arranged them in the jar and made a very simple table decoration.

I prefer the fresh flowers from a grocery store bouquet for this centerpiece. The grocery store bouquets usually have the daisies that have been dyed red, white, and blue in the summer and they look so pretty as a centerpiece for flag day. I guess everyone beat me to them because my local grocery store was out, so we improvised with the synthetic flowers. But, as I started thinking about it, it is okay. They will last much longer. It’s important to always look on the bright side.

And because we love Arkansas, I thought it was a good opportunity to go ahead and teach the kids about the Arkansas flag too. Since the Arkansas flag is red, white, and blue, it fits right in with our theme.

Anytime I teach the kids anything, I have a craft or activity to go with it. We made our patriotic waffle cones with our fresh blueberries for flag day, and I had them paint an Arkansas flag as I explained the details about it.

Arkansas Flag Trivia

  • The big blue diamond is because Arkansas has the only working diamond mine.
  • The 25 white stars in the diamond are because Arkansas was the 25th state to join the United States.
  • The single star above Arkansas represents the fact that Arkansas fought on the Confederate side during the civil war.
  • The three stars below Arkansas represent the fact that Arkansas has been owned by three different countries. (Spain, France, and United States)

It all worked well! We were able to pick blueberries, learn about Flag Day, make a fun treat and do a craft for the Arkansas flag. I love summer.

If you want to try your hand at our patriotic cones and let your kids loose in the kitchen to make some, check out this list of places to pick blueberries in Arkansas. Enjoy!

(Warning: There will be sprinkles all over your kitchen. It is best to do the sprinkles outside. I may have learned this the hard way.)

Places to pick blueberries in Arkansas

The Berry Farm (Bentonville)

Cline Berry Farm (Harrison)

Double S Grass Farms (Judsonia)

Wye Mountain (Wye)

Cox Berry Farm (Clarksville)

Renee’s Berry Garden (London)

Mountain Home Berry Farm (Mountain Home)

Besides all these places to pick your own blueberries, there will be farmers markets all over the state where you can buy FRESH ARKANSAS BLUEBERRIES and skip the picking if you so choose.

What will you do with your blueberries?

Amanda Farris

Arkansas Women Blogger member Amanda Farris is a wife to her super hero hunk of a husband and a mother to 3 little kiddos. She is a teacher/coach who hung up her coaching whistle after she got promoted to motherhood. She is a runner who loves all things sports and outdoors. She loves long coffee chats with her husband,fresh flowers on her table, and hosting game nights. Her friends would call her a "gatherer of people" who loves building genuine community. She's just Living the Adventure!. You can find her occasionally blogging at amandafarris.org.

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