Because we are at the Garden State, I can think of dozens of different fruits and vegetables people love to pick themselves. But one of the most popular fruits that New Jerseyans love to hunt and gather are blueberries!

Blueberries are so popular here—and so delicious—that people love to travel from near and far to experience the blueberry picking that this great state of New Jersey has to offer.

I have visited plenty of blueberry patches in my time, and after each visit there were definitely a few things to take notes on. While you are bound to return from blueberry picking with a large bag of blueberries, you want to have a large bag of the correct ones.

Here are some tips for your next blueberry picking adventure.

  • 1

    Call the farm before visiting

    Each day the blueberry farms assess their fruits and are able to tell you whether or not it’s worth coming out to pick berries. Sometimes blueberries aren’t ripe enough which causes a lack of flavor.

  • 2

    Know what to look for

    When you’re picking blueberries you want to look for the ones that are a deep purplish blue or black. Many people are unaware that sweetness is represented by the color of the berry, rather than its size. If you like your blueberries sour, however, pick ones that have a little bit of red left on them.

  • 3

    Let the berries breathe

    It’s super important to keep your blueberries aerated once you’ve picked them to allow any excess moisture to escape. If the berries aren’t fully aired out, you won’t necessarily have the best eating experience.

  • 4

    Wait to wash

    Do not wash your blueberries until you are ready to eat them! Blueberries are good for 10 days after picking, and do not need to be washed until you are ready to enjoy them. And if you like your blueberries frozen, do not wash them before either. You want to preserve them as best as possible before consuming them and washing them removes important nutrients.

  • 5

    Enjoy!

    Make sure to have fun while picking blueberries! This is a great way to have quality family time and also much more fun than a trip to the grocery store. Berries are not only delicious, but they are fun to use in all sorts of baking and cooking, and there’s nothing better than one you’ve picked yourself.