Who knew you could go blueberry picking near Haiyang? Not I. Luckily, some of my friends did. Earlier this week, we hopped in a car and headed north. We traveled up beautiful mountain roads flanked on either side by terraced farming. When we got to a small town, we hung a left and ended up driving about ten miles down a dirt road full of potholes filled to the brim with rainwater (we have entered the rainy season here in Haiyang).
We eventually wound up in a tiny, tiny village where we met the owner of the blueberry greenhouse. We proceeded to follow him by car to the greenhouse. Once there, he introduced us to his wife. They led us into the greenhouse and offered us freshly picked cucumbers (Haiyang is known for their cucumbers) and then showed us how to pick good berries.
An hour later, our bowls and Ziploc bags were full of plump, little berries.
Once finished, we followed the farmers into their house where we had our berries weighed and where they also informed us they had potatoes and spring onions growing in their fields. We told them we were interested and they disappeared for a while. When they returned, they had a box full of freshly dug up, potatoes (dirt and all) and handfuls of freshly picked spring onions that they tied up in bunches with plastic string.
The next day, I did what any true-blooded American girl would do: whipped up a blueberry pie. Okay, whipping is probably an over-confident word in my case. I painstakingly made up the dough for the crusts, and while I worried that the pie wouldn’t turn out like my mom’s, I’m happy to report that it was pretty damn close. Below, the fruits of my labor: