By: Angela Roberts
Creator of Spinach Tiger, food blog
The Golden Bell Blueberry Farm, located at 4080 Clovercroft Road in Franklin, is open for picking. You will love everything about this blueberry farm, from the juicy sweet organic berries that you will want to stuff into pies or just eat by the mouthful, to the picturesque drive up Clovercroft and onto the gorgeous property. Blueberries have been grown on this property for over 25 years, and Tina Duboer has owned the property for the last ten years
Golden Bell has over 2,000 blueberry bushes, which will produce blueberries into the first week of August. Picking days are Wednesday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m- 12:00 noon. Berries are $3 a pound. Additionally, they also sell local honey from bees that pollinated the bushes at TruBee Honey. Golden Bell accepts cash or check only; no credit cards.
After several years of picking blueberries at Golden Bell, I’ve come up with a master plan to make it an adventure we all enjoy.
Tips for Picking Blueberries
- Go early and plan for two hours of picking. They will provide buckets for each picker, and will place blueberries in plastic bags when you check out.
- Bring bottled water. It gets hot, even if the blueberry bushes give shade.
- Wear sunglasses, not just for the sun, but to prevent branches from poking you in the eye.
- Take a small stepladder or a few tall people to reach the high places. The best berries are often hiding at the top.
- Take your children, the more the berrier! Everyone gets their own bucket for picking and it’s a great way to teach children about real food.
- Pick the good berries, which are blue and big. Leave the red ones on the vine for ripening. The bigger they are, the sweeter. They should pick off easily and still be firm, but not hard. Look for bushes with lots of clusters of berries and stay on one bush, getting all the berries before moving to the next.
Tips for Storing/Freezing
- If you are freezing, wash the berries first. Spread them out on tray to dry. Don’t skip drying; use a salad spinner if you’re in a hurry.
- Freeze berries on shallow trays for one to two hours, before placing in zip lock bags. It’s okay if they touch, as long as they are removed within a few hours. This will prevent sticking in the bags.
- If not freezing, do not wash. Store in refrigerator in shallow containers, not deep containers, so as to not bruise. Wash when you’re ready to eat.
Blueberries are Brain Food and Keep You Healthy
Picking your own blueberries is not only fun, it’s the brainy thing to do. Blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions that affect cognition and memory. There have been multiple studies claiming that blueberries make your brain sharper, and it all has to do with antioxidants called flavonoids (also called polyphenols). A daily dose of blueberries or blueberry juice has been shown to increase memory function.
Blueberries get their blue color from anthocyanins, known to attack cancer-causing free radicals and block tumor cell growth. Blueberries can be a beauty aid too, as they soften skin. Try mixing with sugar and lemon and rubbing on dry skin.
Blueberries are Delicious
Eaten raw, blueberries are naturally sweet, requiring no sugar. They are the healthy snack that can be baked into a cobbler, a pie, a cake, made into a smoothie, or even reduced to make a savory sauce. There is no end to what can be done with blueberries!
Try my delicious recipe for Blueberry Thyme Galette!