There will be a moment on your first visit to Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm in Conroe where you’ll pause, look at your phone’s Map app, and ask yourself, “Seriously?” This will be after you’ve fled the city, likely spent some time on the Grand Parkway, passed a countless number of trees, and, eventually, made your way down a dirt road. And there you’ll be, being asked to make a left turn that doesn’t feel quite right. Do it. Turn left. The blueberries are worth it.
Or so I’m told. I’m not much of a blueberry man myself, but the act of picking blueberries is fun and my roommate raves about what she gets from Moorhead’s, and that’s enough for me. Houston’s rising heat over the spring is mostly a bummer, but every time the temperature inches up it means we’re closer to blueberry picking season, and that season is in full swing. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of the experience.
Blueberry picking means people listening.
People love to talk, and talk freely, during their blueberry picking session. It’s easy to feel alone while you’re working—the bushes grow tall and thick and don’t stick to neat, orderly rows—or at least forget you’re surrounded by strangers who you can't see because of the bushes. Conversations are rarely salacious, but kids say funny things and sometimes you get an adult who overshares just a bit too much. If you enjoy the drama of others, keep your ears open.
Blueberry picking is a contact sport.
The thing about blueberry picking is that if you give into the process, all the distractions of life can fade away and it’s just you, a bush, and a bucket. It’s like solving a puzzle: the bush has something you want, but how will you manipulate the branches so that you can get to the prizes lurking closer to the center? The bush will give you the prize freely, it takes little more than the easiest of tugs to get it to surrender its berry, but it also offers up scrapes and cuts for those who move too fast. Only you can decide which berries are worth the risk.
Blueberry picking is hot work.
Take the usual precautions of doing outside activities in Houston in June: Hydrate. Wear a hat. Use sunscreen if you burn easily. And know your body. If you start to feel yourself hitting a wall, don’t be afraid to tap out. I can pick for about an hour and then it’s like all the heat hits me at once. So I go sit in the shade and drink some water. You may be tempted to order a snow cone from the snow cone stand. That’s a very good idea.
Moorhead’s doesn’t take cards, so make sure you grab some cash or your checkbook on hand before you make the trek out that way. A pound of blueberries will cost you $2.50, and the fun starts at 6:30 a.m.