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The warm Arkansas weather means it’s time for fresh produce, farmer’s markets, and pulling out our favorite summer recipes to share with friends. We’ve had to miss a lot of joyous occasions this spring, but there’s one thing we can still count on: picking blueberries. Berry picking has always been one of my favorite summertime activities. Everyone in the family can pick and everyone can enjoy this delicious healthy fruit.
Blueberries are one of the fruits that grow extremely well in the Arkansas sunshine. The plump, juicy berries grow best in acidic soil with a pH level of 5.0 and they love full sun. If you are unsure about your soil composition, your local extension agency can test it for you and let you know what you need to add to it to make it ideal for achieving the perfect pH level for blueberries.
But, to enjoy a wonderful supply of blueberries on your own property, you must be patient. During the first year of planting the blueberry plants are working on establishing their root systems so you shouldn’t expect much production from them. But, if you take care of the plants and keep them deeply watered, fertilized, and pruned, then you will be able to enjoy an abundance of blueberries year after year as your plants thrive under your tender care.
My family has planted several blueberry plants on our property that are still developing and growing. We get a small harvest each year, but somehow the berries never seem to make it inside the house. The bushes are used as a continual snack for the kids playing outside.
So, to compensate, each year we make it a point to visit a blueberry farm to pick an abundance of berries at one time that actually will make it inside the house.
We are so thankful for the farmers in Arkansas who allow the public to pick berries. It is a rewarding experience to be able to show children how our food is grown and where it comes from by watching them pick ripe, round blueberries from a bush and fill a bucket full of delicious snacks. Of course, a small percentage of those blueberries do not make it to the bucket because they snack as they are picking. So, when you pick blueberries at a local farm, be sure to tip the owners for their kindness and generosity toward children.
This year, after our blueberry picking palooza, I asked everyone what kind of treat they wanted me to make with our blueberries. I was met with shouts and requests from the group for “Blueberry Pancakes! Blueberry Waffles! Blueberry Muffins! Blueberry Ice-Cream! Blueberry Cobbler!”
With all of the blueberries we came away with, there will be plenty to make all of their requests. But, the first thing we did was make a lemon blueberry poppyseed bread. There is something sweet and simple about the combination of blueberries and lemon that welcomes the warmer weather in Arkansas.
We all enjoyed our bread on the back porch soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the fruits of our labor picking.
When we make treats in our house, we always try to use recipes that make enough that there is plenty to share. This recipe does just that. It makes two loaves. So, you can enjoy one and share one with an Arkansas neighbor. This recipe makes a moist quick loaf bread that any friend or neighbor would be happy to receive.
Lemon Glaze Ingredients
We hope you enjoy this recipe and make it soon. Another family favorite memory with blueberries is the time that we celebrated Arkansas and flag day with blueberries. Click Here to read about it, and also find a list of possible blueberry patches in Arkansas that allow the public to pick. Be sure to call before you go because many locations are changing their policies and regulations due to COVID-19.
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