Chir, Chir, Chir, the distinct singing of the Robins signaled the start of a new day. Annie smiled at their sound as she stood at the end of the garden, near the meditation platform. She listened to the flock for a few minutes, a precursor to her morning meditation. As she got comfortable on the cushion, on cue, the chorus ended their song and flew off, most likely searching for the twigs, grasses, and mud needed to finish nest building; eggs would be laid soon. Five Robins chose Annie and LJ’s garden for their new home because the blueberries were coming into season, and they wanted to be close to a favorite food source.
Annie finished her meditation, opened her eyes, and glanced at LJ. “Wow, he was so quiet when he sat down,” she thought. “I’ll do the same for him.” She began bird-watching. The Robins stayed close to each other, acting as a lookout for their enemies; hawks and blue jays. One broke away from the group and began circling the blueberry bushes. “Help yourself; if you can keep the bad insect population down, I don’t mind sharing.”
LJ finished meditating. He looked at Annie and followed her view upwards. “If the Robins are here, it must be blueberry season,” he chuckled.
“I was thinking the same thing. Since Robins are one of our favorite predator-fighters, we should share the blueberries with them. It looks like we are going to have an abundant crop. What do you think?”
LJ nodded, “yes, but I want to make sure we have enough to last for several months. You know blueberries freeze well. So how are we going to harvest, you swat while I reap or vice versa?”
Annie laughed and shook her head at the visual, “that might work because I eat every other berry I pick. I love them. When I was a little girl, my older sister and I spent a summer in Massachusetts with our east coast cousins. One of their favorite past times was picking wild blueberries. They used to say,
Blueberry, blueberry sitting on a bush.
Waiting to be picked,
but I hope they don’t get smooshed.
We came home with stained faces and clothes. Even though blueberries contain about 15 grams of natural sugar per cup, the adults did not care; they were more interested in us eating fresh, healthy food. And that might be because, according to studies, the sugar content of blueberries doesn’t seem to adversely affect blood sugar levels, which may be due to their bioactive compounds that help prevent internal inflammation, heart disease and lower the risk of various cancers. I remember enjoying the best pancakes and learning how to make blueberry muffins from them.”
“Before I forget, I am thinking of a big bowl of blueberries for breakfast,” said LJ. “Let’s head inside and see what we can create.”
Annie smiled gently, “I get your drift, sweetheart, especially since you know blueberries are known to help alleviate cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.”
In the kitchen, Annie took the Matcha Chia Seed Pudding she made the night before out of the refrigerator. “I was planning to top this with cashews, acai berries, and blueberries. How does that sound?”
LJ winked as he popped a blueberry in his mouth, “Ummm, sounds good. The sweetness of this Misty blue me away. Choosing the right variety based on our growing zone was smart because it ensures a healthy crop. For the upcoming season, let’s add a Southmoon blueberry plant to our flower garden. It has beautiful green foliage and white flowers. It’s an interesting ornamental which also produces a sky-blue berry. Did you know there were over 150 varieties?”
Annie handed him his bowl, “I did not, and yes, I’m berry okay with planting another bush. We are learning that blueberries are called a superfood for a good reason. It has shown a small amount daily can boost immunity, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower the severity of stroke damage, and prevent urinary tract infections. These tiny jewels are packed with antioxidants and are high in potassium and vitamin C.”
LJ gazed into her eyes while offering her a blueberry, “I found my thrill on blueberry hill.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.