Tifblue, Premier, Brightwell, Climax. They may sound like random company names or movie industry terms, but these are actually just four of the twenty varieties of blueberries you can find at Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm. My husband and I first drove down last year, carpooling with and invited by local friends. We hemmed and hawed at first – a 1.5 hour drive one-way amidst busy work schedules, classes, lab meetings, and paper deadlines? Could we justify it? But our lives cannot be purely school and work labor, and an outdoor, sweet reprieve from paper and pen sounded like one way we could balance work and play.
Upon arrival, we were handed a white gallon bucket, free of charge, and directed to post colored flags that indicate where the berries are ripe. Moorhead’s lets you sample as you go, taste-testing different varieties and staining our hands and tongues blue. I am a thorough harvester, clearing each branch of the bush before moving onto the next; my husband is a sweet-seeker, searching for the clusters of the juiciest berries. There is an unexpected thrill as we walk the rows of bushes, picking sun-ripened blue from branch to hand to bucket or mouth. The process is so simple, so direct, we might as well be munching on the sun herself. She’s a brilliant source of energy, and as we fill our bellies and buckets, our school and work burn out dries up in her Texas heat. We’re restored - content and slightly sunburned smiles on our faces as we make the drive home.
When Conroe is too far, there are the green-filled paths of Wolf Pen Creek. When our eyes are bleary from staring at essays and papers on man-made screens, there are the live oaks on Texas A&M campus, giants and sentries guarding our well-being. When we need the quick pick me up of the sun on our faces, she is there, almost always there, big and bright in the Texas sky and ready to charge our solar-soul-powered batteries.
The last of the berries are just turning blue, and you’ll have to wait until next season if you don’t make it down there soon. So, what are you waiting for? Turn off your computer, come away from your desk - I’ll see you out in the sunny fields.
Ally Miyazaki is a Masters student in the College of Education and Human Development