*Disclaimer: While we were totally pulling your leg with the April Fool’s Day Cheese Wine post, this is not a joke*
It’s National Blueberry Month and we have quite the dilemma…
After much deliberation internally, we’ve never seen a blueberry farm. Ever.
There are no roadside blueberry stands. Apples, all day. Cherries, totally. Oranges, you got it. Strawberries, without a doubt. Blueberries? Nope.
There are even random folks on the side of the road selling all the above, but not blueberries.
The state of Washington is allegedly the no. 1 producer of blueberries (according to World Atlas), and for all our travels through the state, north to south, east to west, we’ve never seen a single sign for somewhere to buy, to pick, walk through fields of, pull over and enjoy the scenic views of pastures of, nothing. Plenty of raspberries, hops, different mints, peas, apples, grapes, and sweet cherries in the state, but no blueberries.
This began some far-and-wide outreach inquiring as to the status of the possible non-existence of blueberry farms. Seem strange, right!? Well, it gets stranger.
STARTING CLOSE TO HOME
In the office Andre had blueberries from Costco, THE Costco, of which stated they were from Salinas, California. A search for blueberry farms led us to this posting about the “Top 10 Best Blueberry Picking in Salinas, CA” from Yelp. It seemed promising, check it out for yourself.
Now take a look at the top 3 results and their subsequent photos. No blueberries. Plenty of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, some apples even. NO BLUEBERRIES. There is one random photo of blueberries on the 7th place on the list, that of which belongs to the Gilroy Farmers Market, and it is just tubs of blueberries in pint and quart containers, a common way to find them – except not on a bush, tree, shrub, vine, whatever they grow on. Something is up…
We recently spoke with someone who stated that they know of a blueberry farm in Circleville, OH. We thought we might actually be on to something. We were told that this individual passed by the blueberry farm twice a day alongside a highway going to and from work. When we inquired as to the the plant and their ability to recognize it at a distance in the same manner you’d recognize a citrus tree, apple tree, fig tree, Japanese maple, strawberry bushes, anything, we were met with a simple “no.”
We then inquired if there was a roadside stand to purchase them from the farm, “no.” We asked if they offered blueberry picking, “no.” We asked have you ever been to the farm or pulled up to inquire as to if they offer picking, or blueberry pasture tours, “no.”
This individual went on to say that they remember there being some sort of cheesecloth protecting the plant of which they surmised was to diffuse the sunlight. They went on to say that Ohio is one of the largest blueberry producing states in the US.
Point of note, in the World Atlas Top 10 Blueberry Producing States in America, Ohio is nowhere on the list. Also of note, the vast majority of images attached to the list are of stock photos of blueberries in baskets or loose on white backgrounds, the few that show the landscape of the state? No blueberries.
*Addendum: During the final edit of this post, another source made the same claim as above, yet from a farm in California, the source also stated they have never laid hands or eyes on the fruit either. For credibility, this source has picked fruit in the Central Valley before as well, professionally, so the mystery continues to drive in a strange, unsettling direction.*
WHERE IT ALL FALLS APART
*Continued Addendum: So, wait. Full stop.
People, professional and amateur, know of farms with covered plants, allegedly blueberries, that you cannot describe or see, that have no offer to sell or pick or tour, in states on opposite sides of this country that they’ve claimed top honors to?*
So, then, a few west-coasters we reached out to said blueberries are all grown on the east coast, the east-coasters we reached out to said all the blueberries are grown on the west coast. We decided to split the difference and inquire with people in the middle of the country who said they are all grown in Canada.
For good measure, but with little hope, we spoke to the one Canadian we know personally who lives on the western side of the country, they said they’re all on the east coast. We weren’t going to go through this all over again, being pointed back in the direction from which we came.
Hollywood has put pretty close to $0 into blueberry related films. The one exception from keeping it at a flatout $0 total was the 2007 blockbuster “My Blueberry Nights.” Ok, so it wasn’t a blockbuster, more of a bust (scoring currently 46% on Rotten Tomatoes). We’ll spare you the synopsis, which you can look up yourself, but it’s not about blueberries. Looking to the world of television, the Hallmark Channel in 2016 produced a made for TV film based on the Mary Simses book, “The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café” – which isn’t about blueberries, but about comfort food and finding love while uncovering hidden secrets, very Hallmark-y if you will. Looking to films from across the pond, there is a loose adaptation of a Moebius comic book, sharing the same name “Blueberry” – an acid western, neither film nor comic is about blueberries.
What about music? Of the top 10 songs referencing fruits, the Fats Domino 1956 hit “Blueberry Hill” shows up about mid-way on the list. We saw some promise here, yet the song isn’t romanticising blueberries or a hill filled with them, it’s about him getting laid in a location called Blueberry Hill, that upon further investigation is either a St. Louis restaurant established in 1972, or a location in Alaska, both infinitely impossibly connected to the content of the song based on timeframe or geolocationing. Sadly, the location “Blueberry Hill” is completely made up in context of the song.
Now, with the Fats song in mind, we ask, have you ever thought to yourself about how romantic it’d have been to have taken your date (currently or when courting them) to a field of blueberries, lay down a blanket and enjoy the beautiful surrounding over a glass of wine and unforgettable picnic lunch in said blueberry pasture? Nope. Never. Not even after hearing his song. Your mind is preoccupied with “other things.”
For reference, the Wikipedia page on Blueberries has a “C-Score” – essentially useful, but not professionally produced or outstanding, nor under a professional microscope. Blueberries are everywhere in grocery stores produce aisles and boxed goods, year round, so what gives? Wouldn’t there be more information, or more accurate information, or a higher score in the public space? What gives? Something is really up here…
It continues to get stranger and stranger the deeper you dig into the subject of blueberries.
Strangely, all resourceful imagery from what might be considered the most go-to source for information on the internet, Wikipedia (not without flaws, but widely read and able to be edited or added to), of blueberries are shot very close. See below:
Not much to go on with almost no distinguishable features to the plant from which they come… Up close, or from a distance, you’d recognize a fig leaf, a grape leaf, lettuce leaves, citrus leaves, almost anything, but not a blueberry plant as far as our search has provided. One could begin to question at this point if most or all blueberry photos are staged…
The flowers are allegedly white, but it wouldn’t be all too difficult to choose a white bell-shaped flower from anything and pose it as a “blueberry flower” – again, all the images are so close, you cannot distinguish the bush, leaves, shape, or structure of the plant… We find this incredibly troubling:
Which brings us to this mind-bending photo that according to Wikipedia is a high resolution image of a Nova Scotia Blueberry Field. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely at this point) the only blue item in it is the sky, no white flowers, and no distinguishable trees or bushes except in the distance; the field is covered in almost-Fire engine red, please see below:
Literally nothing in this photo says “blueberry” – absolutely nothing. This could be any field, anywhere. It’s more likely this is a field of raspberries due to the color. As well, could you personally define the look of a blueberry bush, plant, tree, whatever it is? Pea tendrils, yes. Grapevines, absolutely. Broccoli or Cauliflower, undoubtedly. A Pine Tree, duh. But a blueberry plant? Nope.
There are even inconsistencies between the leaf shapes, textures, and we’ll even throw in colors between every image we’ve seen up to this point…
The majority of stock imagery and restaurant dessert presentations have blueberries paired with mint leaves. Not to mention the pickup images that have indeterminable source green leaves incorporated.
So what gives? How can it be possible?
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THIS DILEMMA
We absolutely loathe when a problem is presented, yet no possible solution is offered, so here are our theories thus far:
- There is this insanely accurate portioning of growing to supply to demand in the blueberry world. A true 1:1:1 ratio. Every blueberry that is picked is sold and brought to clamshells in the supermarket produce aisle, or dehydrated for the endless supply of blueberry muffin boxes, cereals, granolas, etc. Strange… However it could be likely due to the fact that you’ve never heard of a blueberry shortage or famine, maybe it is so robust and predictable, that every berry is accounted for before production of the previously stated items. Therefore, it would make sense there is no roadside stands, picking options at farms, or public access to the blueberry farms, if they even exist…
- There are plenty of blueberry fields, pastures, whatever, but you never see roadside signs as the blueberry producers cannot let mere mortal eyes land on the crop. It is a quantum fruit. The moment it is observed, the crop behaves differently. Hence no blueberry picking, no blueberry farm tours, no roadside stands (as you might get too close to the source and lay eyes on it, thus inciting the first blueberry famine in history, and who would want to be remembered as being the first person to let normal humans gaze upon their blueberry field, thus ending an entire species of mysterious fruit?). We can only imagine the conditions and precautions one must go through to harvest the fruit if it cannot be seen or observed by human eyes. This theory brings us back to the person who told us about the cheesecloth covered, unseeable bushes that were allegedly along the “Ohio highway blueberry farm” earlier in this post.
- A bit of a re-think of the above, maybe there is a blueberry mafia of sorts? Truth be told, we’ve been a bit concerned that a black, unmarked agricultural vehicle will pull up alongside us at any moment with some indistinguishable individual rolling down a deeply tinted window stating, “Quit asking about the blueberries, if ya know what’s good for ya….”
- Maybe blueberries aren’t real? Well, obviously wild ones are, you will see them in Alaska on Blueberry Hill, growing wild, but we can’t imagine every blueberry has to be harvested solely by foraging, and somehow supply the entire planet with blueberries. So again, maybe the store-bought and dehydrated for store shelf product blueberries don’t actually exist? Well, they have to, but maybe they aren’t blueberries? Maybe there is a roadside farmstand somewhere that sells or allows you to pick [X] fruit, and you’ve passed it your entire life because you were looking for “blueberries” and not “[X]” fruit. Could it all be a marketing scheme that has eluded us as consumers this entire time?
- Or possibly blueberries are foraged in the same manner as truffles in Italy? Maybe a hippie white dude with dreadlocks shows up at the restaurants, Driscoll’s, or Betty Crocker’s spot, with a hemp satchel full of the finest fresh or dehydrated berries, hawking his wares in a generational-underground transaction that has lasted centuries, the art passed through his family and closely guarded for all-time?
We really need your help!
If you own a blueberry farm, and can show us the fruit in a manner where observation will not break the fiber that holds the known universe together, please do so by sending observational videos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know of a roadside blueberry stand, please submit a photo of yourself at said stand, stocked with blueberries, preferably on the bush from whence it came to: email@example.com
If you know what the actual name of the fruit is and it is all a marketing scheme, please provide evidence and any knowledge to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you work for a restaurant, Driscoll’s, Betty Crocker, et. al., please provide photo evidence of your blueberry forager and if possible, what generation picker he is in his family’s long, rich, mysterious history to: email@example.com
ONE FINAL NOTE
There is this theory called the Mandela Effect. You can look it up on your own time, but essentially a large portion of the population remembers Darth Vader famously saying “Luke, I am your father,” in Star Wars, James Earl Jones, the Darth Vader voice actor is one of them, yet if you watch the movie now, even an old original VHS version, not the special editions, Vader actually says, “No, I am your father,” in all versions, original or special editions, on any type of media. The other portion of the population remember the latter as correct and say it has always been that way. Long-and-short, two parallel timelines intersected in our universe where slight changes have been made due to this occurrence. Could it be possible that in one timeline blueberries are grown, and passed into the other? Not so implausible after reading all the above, correct?
We’re hedging our bets on quantum fruit.