It's nearly picking season in Downeast Maine. The pickers will come and live at the barrens in rustic little camps until the work is done.
The barrens are a spare but beautiful landscape, upon which little will grow except blueberries, because below a very thin scrim of soil lies solid bedrock, scraped clean by glaciers. The blueberry foliage turns deep red in early August, and stays brilliant until the snow covers it. The town of Cherryfield - right next to Columbia Falls - got its name, oddly enough, from the red foliage of its blueberry barrens. My mother is from Cherryfield, and she worked in Wyman's food processing plant as a teenager, plucking sticks and rocks from a conveyor belt of blueberries. She hates when I tell people this, but she was crowned Maine Blueberry Queen of 1950! You probably love wild Maine blueberries - everybody does. They are a superfood, you know! These barrens are, in fact, wild; the blueberries were here before there were companies to cultivate them. They may have been here before there were any people to enjoy them! The pickers cabins in the photo above are the accommodations provided by the Passamaquoddy Wild Blue Berry Company.
|Ready for picking! July 2017|