Blueberry Picking on the North Shore

This jumbo blueberry was picked at Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Massachusetts

Blueberry picking is a great way to spend an afternoon outdoors. It's fun, educational and has the added payoff of an abundance of delicious, sweet blueberries to enjoy in all kinds of baked goods and treats.

We headed off to Russell Orchards recently to spend a few hours out in their field picking blueberries (Reminder: It's greenhead season, so bring bug spray!). We were pleased to find an abundance of plump, ripe blueberries awaiting our arrival. 'B' found a bush that was loaded with these monster blueberries - the biggest I've ever seen. Some of them were so big that they were more like pieces of fruit than berries! We had some hardy picking on that particular bush, but we decided it would be best to leave some of the monsters for the other folks who would surely be along in the near future.

We picked a few pints and skedaddled out of there just ahead of some approaching thunderstorms. On the ride home we discussed what we were going to do with our cache of blue gold - blueberry ice cream, blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry bread, blueberry jam, blueberry pie. The list goes on... We decided to make blueberry bread for starters.

I did a little research on blueberries and found that there are basically two kinds of blueberry bushes - low bush ('wild') blueberries and high bush (cultivated) blueberries. While some blueberry picking farms do raise and cultivate some low bush blueberries, it is far more profitable to them to maintain a crop of high bush blueberries.If you find blueberries in the wild, they will most likely be of the low bush blueberry variety - hence the 'wild' reference (although 'native' would be more accurate).

Blueberries also have many health benefits. They have very high levels of antioxidants, leading some to claim that blueberries are a superfood. Many studies have been done with blueberries and the findings seem to show that eating blueberries has a litany of beneficial effects that include:

  • Inhibiting mechanisms of cancer cell development
  • Inhibiting inflammation in vitro
  • Enhancing memory and learning in older adults
  • Lowering brain damage during a stroke event
  • Slowing the rate of cognitive decline for Alzheimer's patients
  • Aiding in lowering blood sugar
  • Alleviating symptoms of depression
  • Lowering Cholesterol and lipid levels
  • Possibly reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Possibly regulating blood pressure

Blueberries are good for you, fun to pick and great to eat raw or as a part of any number of treats. Make sure to head out to your favorite wild blueberry patch or use visit one of the following blueberry picking spots open to the public on the North Shore:

Amesbury

Boxford

Georgetown

Haverhill

Ipswich

North Andover

Peabody

Topsfield

West Newbury

Glen Urquhart School Pre-K through 8th grade in Beverly MA

We Walk the Woods!

Walk the trails in a group at Harold Parker State Forest Every Wednesday at 10am
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10:00 am to 12:00 pm

MPL: Mother Goose Storytime

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10:30 am

School Vacation Week Fun in Salisbury!

Seaglass Restaurant, Joes Playland Arcade and the Salisbury Beach Carousel team up to bring affordable vacation week fun to North Shore Massachusetts families!
Seaglass Restaurant, Joes Playland Arcade and the Salisbury Beach Carousel team up to bring affordable vacation week fun to North Shore Massachusetts families!
11:30 am to 3:00 pm

Salisbury Beach Carousel - School Vacation

Carousel at Salisbury Beach MA. Parties, Family Reunions, Weddings, Showers, Birthday Parties
Salisbury Beach Carousel Hours: February Vacation Hours (MA and NH) February 16 – March 3 Open Daily Noon – 5:00pm Non Vacation Hours
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Thursday, February 29

School Vacation Week Fun in Salisbury!

Seaglass Restaurant, Joes Playland Arcade and the Salisbury Beach Carousel team up to bring affordable vacation week fun to North Shore Massachusetts families!
Seaglass Restaurant, Joes Playland Arcade and the Salisbury Beach Carousel team up to bring affordable vacation week fun to North Shore Massachusetts families!
11:30 am to 3:00 pm

Salisbury Beach Carousel - School Vacation

Carousel at Salisbury Beach MA. Parties, Family Reunions, Weddings, Showers, Birthday Parties
Salisbury Beach Carousel Hours: February Vacation Hours (MA and NH) February 16 – March 3 Open Daily Noon – 5:00pm Non Vacation Hours
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Read to a Dog at APL

Kids are invited to read to a dog at Amesbury Massachusetts Public Library. Image generated with AI.
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3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Sea Glass Art at Sawyer Free

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Come to the library for an evening of coastal creations. Bring your own sea glass to make sea glass art. Picture frames, shells, and some crushed glass will be provided as well as step-by-step instructions to create designs that will keep the beach in your heart and your home.
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Friday, March 1

Kidleidoscope at Breakheart Reservation

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Come join our park interpreter for a story time and nature walk! Complete a small craft and explore the woods! Walks are gently paced and approximately 1 mile, though not accessible for strollers. Appropriate for families with children 3-5 years old. Meet at the Visitor Center.
10:30 am to 11:30 am

School Vacation Week Fun in Salisbury!

Seaglass Restaurant, Joes Playland Arcade and the Salisbury Beach Carousel team up to bring affordable vacation week fun to North Shore Massachusetts families!
Seaglass Restaurant, Joes Playland Arcade and the Salisbury Beach Carousel team up to bring affordable vacation week fun to North Shore Massachusetts families!
11:30 am to 3:00 pm

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Carousel at Salisbury Beach MA. Parties, Family Reunions, Weddings, Showers, Birthday Parties
Salisbury Beach Carousel Hours: February Vacation Hours (MA and NH) February 16 – March 3 Open Daily Noon – 5:00pm Non Vacation Hours
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Homeschool Meet Up at North Shore Children's Museum

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North Shore Children's Museum is hosting a monthly homeschool meet-up. It takes place during the 1-4 PM play session. A private party room will be reserved for homeschoolers to gather for self-directed lessons.
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Friday Family Farm Chores at Appleton Farms

Join The Trustees of Reservations at Appleton Farms for our special, hands-on Family Farm Chores program held on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
Every day has a full list of barnyard chores we need to accomplish to make sure our farmyard friends are happy and healthy. Let’s get to work! Join us for our special, hands-on Family Farm Chores program held on Fridays and Saturdays! Get on your muck boots – your whole family will get to be...
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Salisbury Beach Carousel - Free Friday Hours

Carousel at Salisbury Beach MA. Parties, Family Reunions, Weddings, Showers, Birthday Parties
Salisbury Beach Carousel Hours: Friday: 4 pm to 8 pm Saturday: 12 pm to 8 pm Sunday: 12 pm to 6 pm Hours of operation are to change.
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm