You ward off unwanted belly fat.
You take cancer to the mat.
You give me many an antioxidant,
and of your urinary health benefits I am confident.
Enough bad verse. Suffice to say, the blueberry earns its rep as a "power food." Memory assistance? Check. Nerves? You're covered. Diabetes? Help is here. Cardio woes? Blue equals heart smart.
Among the many benefits of being invited to this patch of land are the blueberry bushes that grace one slope near our friend's 100-year-old house. Susan, our host-friend, moved to Loudoun as a baby years ago; the blueberry bushes precede her arrival. Her mother Betty tended the bushes and baked reknowned pies for almost half a century. This year, in Betty's honor, we've been giving the bushes some T.L.C.
First, came the pruning. We cut out the dead wood, and removed the oldest, thickest canes. Next came mulching with pine needles and coffee grounds—a yet unfinished job—to lower pH and help with moisture retention over the summer. But then insidious tent caterpillars took up residence and demanded our attention. Early spring 2015 will bring some fertilizer (bone meal?) and more pruning.
Already we're reaping the rewards: a dramatic increase in berry production. For the past couple weeks, we've pulled down branches to twist the deep blue fruit off their stems. The other day, Susan and I thought we would only harvest enough berries to fill a small bowl. We ended up swapping the bowl for a larger one—twice. These days we are snacking on handfuls of berries, topping yogurt with berries, freezing berries for future pies...
It is simply a blueberry blessing to live here.