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Blueberry Pickin’ Time

I’m pretty sure I have written about my in-laws’ wonderful blueberry bush (at least once), but after picking berries with my husband, father-in-law and grandson the other night. I thought I would share a little about this bush.

When my father-in-law, Marshall Fleming, was around 13 years old, his father (who worked as the head carpenter at Montgomery Ward in Baltimore) brought home a grape vine and a few twigs that he said were blueberry bushes. A few years later when Marshall and his wife built their home about a mile away, they dug up one of those blueberry bushes and the grape vine and planted them in their backyard, where they still are growing today. While we do not know the variety of the blueberry, it produces an abundance of the sweetest little blueberries I have ever tasted.

This bush is taller than we are and through the years has helped make many a blueberry pie and roly-poly, not to mention just yummy berries to eat while we pick. When I first got married and we moved next door, it was always a relaxing time in the evenings to be out there with my children and my in-laws picking these sweet berries. As time went on, my in-laws moved (still next door though) and my daughter and her husband bought their home with the fabled blueberry bush.

Now we’ve added a generation to the picking party with the addition of our grandson, asking as he picks, “is this one okay?”  What a great time we had with him chattering away about his day and all the things he plans to do.  I know that in a year or two, his sister Zoe will be old enough to help.  Many folks ask if we cover this bush with netting.  And the answer is we never have.  There are more than enough blueberries to share with the birds each year. Plus of course, we get out there and pick, pick, pick!


Blueberry Roly-Poly
4 cups blueberries
2/3 cups (or to taste) sugar
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca
2 cups Jiffy or Bisquick mix
2/3 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted shortening

In 9″x12″ glass baking dish dump blueberries, sprinkle with sugar and tapioca. Mix together other ingredients. Drop spoonfuls over blueberries and spread over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 10 minutes or until top is done. Other fruits may be substituted.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. About twenty years ago I was having the exterior of my house painted by a painter that at the time lived in Frederick, Maryland. During one of his breaks we were discussing our favorite foods and he said there was nothing better than his mother’s roly-poly when he was a lad growing up in West Virginia. I had never heard of it before and I reasoned that it was his mother’s name for a variation of a traditional recipe. After twenty years I have heard the term roly-poly again and here is a recipe.

    Charles Wolters.

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