My blueberry yield this summer has been small. And by small, I mean pretty tiny — definitely serving size: 1. Actually, what you see in the photo above is my blueberry yield this summer.
I keep telling myself, let’s not throw in the towel quite yet — it is only late July. So what if we are in the middle of blueberry season and the grocery stores and farmers markets are practically giving them away? So what if my neighbors’ yards are bursting forth in all shades of blue? Maybe I have the great city of Portland’s only two blueberry bush late bloomers?
I’ll keep my head held high, keep eating the lettuce that seems to be growing all over my yard and out of my ears, and cross my fingers. I’ll try not to think about the gallons of precious water I’ve lovingly sprinkled on these guys, or the hours I’ve spent, crouched in the mud, paving a less weedy way for them. I’ll try to put my blinders on when I walk down the street, careful not to be poked in the eye by a blueberry bush branch with each step I take.
I’ll try, but the truth remains: there’s some beginner’s luck with 1st-time gardening, and there is also the school of hard knocks. Sometimes one needs to bone up a little and read the directions. My friend recently came by and, upon seeing my blueberry bushes asked me, “why did you plant them there?” ”Nothing was growing there,” I said. ”Exactly!” he laughed. Ok, point taken.
So, while I may not be writing any gardening books anytime soon, the good news is, there’s only one direction to go from here: up. I can say with confidence that the summers of gardening in my future are pretty much guaranteed to be more successful than the current summer has been. And while I don’t have a whole lot of produce I actually grew to carry from my raised beds to my kitchen this season, I do have that sweet piece of wisdom for my back pocket.
But I want you to know, I picked that sole blueberry and I savored it like it was the last morsel I would ever eat on this green earth. I said to myself, decidedly, this is not the moment to teach a youngster about sharing — nope, I’m keeping this little blue lonesome guy all to myself. And boy was he tasty.