A Love Affair with Blueberries

The rolling hills, lush vegetation, and beautiful Lake Superior shoreline make visiting this part of northern Wisconsin well worth the out of the way drive. I’ve always been curious about the south shore of Lake Superior and have long wanted to visit this far northern part of the state. I finally had the opportunity recently and was not disappointed.

Bayfield, Wisconsin is considered the Berry Capital of the State and also known as the Gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Bayfield’s local agriculture produces some of the largest crops of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries in the Midwest.

Blueberries on a blueberry bush

Summertime is berry season on the Bayfield peninsula. That means fresh, locally grown berries are ripe for the picking. You can either pick yourself (most cost-effective) or you can purchase pre-picked berries. The “Fruit Loop” drive not only immerses visitors into the picturesque landscape but introduces them to the local farms and farm stands along the small country roads.

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and more

Al and I spent our summer camped on his sister’s lakefront property near Hayward, Wisconsin. Considering the quaint little town of Bayfield is located an easy hour and a half drive away, my sister-in-law and I decided to take a day trip up to the town to pick blueberries. She had never gone berry picking before. Ah, I’d need to fix that. (We called ahead to check on the status of the blueberries before making the drive. The second week in August 2019 was perfect for picking blueberries. We also kept tabs via the Orchard-Reports.)

Our first stop was at the Blue Vista Farm. I fell in love with this place. The property is stunning with its historic barn, and flower garden. And then there’s the orchards, butterflies, and birds along with clean air and puffy clouded blue skies. Seriously, I could spend a summer here and easily run out of film ๐Ÿ˜†. My sister-in-law literally had to pull me away so we could continue with our Bayfield explorations.

Blue Vista Farm – To enlarge a photo in a gallery, simply click on any image.

After picking roughly 5 pounds of blueberries at the Blue Vista Farm, it was time for us to head to our next destination; Erickson’s Orchards & Country Store. Here, we weren’t interested in picking any more fruit. Nope, our visit was totally centered around their baked goods available in their country store.

We had visited Bayfield a few weeks earlier and had stopped in at Erickson’s. It was at the tail end of strawberry season and blueberries weren’t yet ready to pick. So, we settled for a sampling of baked goods and a bottle of local wine. And wow! So, now it was time for a repeat purchase, but instead of strawberry treats, it was blueberry treats. Yum! Many of these farms also offer additional products such as jellies, jams, preserves, and honey that we’ll consider during another visit.

Fish Tacos BlackenedWith our stash of freshly picked blueberries and a box full of baked goods safely stored in our cooler, we headed into town for lunch at the Bayfield Inn. Their rooftop restaurant offers beautiful views and casual dining.

The town of Bayfield is home to one of the remaining sustainable fisheries on the Great Lakes. Local fishermen bring in a daily catch of salmon, trout, and whitefish.

With whitefish being the most popular, many of the local restaurants offer it on their menus cooked in a variety of ways.

I ordered the White Fish Tacos blackened and they were absolutely delicious. So tasty that I’ve tried replicating them at home. I’ve gotten close to their recipe, but I’ll need to keep working at it and Al will continue to suffer through my culinary experiments. I don’t think he’s complaining.

Shopping

After lunch, my sister-in-law and I did a little strolling up and down historic Rittenhouse Avenue. Bayfield is a small town and each shop offers something different and unique. Of course, my T-shirt addiction didn’t allow me to walk away empty-handed. ๐Ÿ˜ And my sister-in-law couldn’t resist a purchase at the Candy Shoppe. Their fruit wine breads and chocolate turtles were to die for and we hear their homemade ice cream is pretty tasty as well.

Gardens

I think one of the things that surprised me the most during my visits to this historic Wisconsin town was the gardens. From residences to shops and even marinas, they all pride themselves in providing lovely flower gardens complete with yard art. It was so enjoyable to just walk around the town taking in the sights.

I’ve loved every single visit I made to Bayfield this past summer. Al and I even managed to take one of those 3-hour boat tours around the Apostle Islands. And we couldn’t have picked a better day to do so, but I’ll save that adventure for another post.

Bayfield, Wisconsin
Bayfield, Wisconsin

What I’ve been working on!

We had an absolutely fantastic summer and a busy one at that. I’ve been so busy especially these last few weeks that blogging has been put on the backburner. Not only have I enjoyed adventures with family, but I’ve also been trying my hand at video. Not very successfully, I might add. Video will never replace my love of still photography, but it may enhance this blog as well as challenge me creatively. I do have three videos ready to upload to my not yet created YouTube Channel. That’ll need to wait until I’m settled into my winter location. Yep, we’re in travel mode right now transitioning between northern Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona. In the meantime, I thought I’d share this silly little trailer I threw together in iMovie. More adventures to come!

(Thank you for using my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and really appreciate your support โค)

Basket with Double Drop Down Handles
Cotton Kitchen Towels
Stainless Steel Tumbler with Lid

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73 thoughts on “A Love Affair with Blueberries

  1. Ingrid i enjoyed your video and I think you will have great fun experimenting and learning. I admit Dave does all of our video but we certainly get feedback that it adds a feeling of being right there or at least an added perspective.

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    1. So far I’ve been having fun with video but other than this silly little video, I haven’t gone live yet with the others I’ve put together. We just arrived back in Phoenix for the winter so I won’t have any travel excuses anymore ๐Ÿ˜†

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  2. I hope your transition from one gorgeous part of the country to another goes well. Your photos bring back so many memories of our home and orchard in New England with the apples and blueberries.

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    1. I’m sure there’s a part of you that misses your New England place. I fell in love with the Blue Vista Farm and for a split second thought about looking at property in the area, but then reality set in … winters, maintenance, work, and no thank you quickly set in ๐Ÿ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In VT we had our own blueberry bushes, could get all I needed from them, provided we net them so the birds didn’t get them. Enjoyed them all year long, one of the things I miss from our house owning days. Missed the strawberry season in IL but should make it in time next year. Been a crazy time here, still dealing with residual issues from our weld and cracked frame issues we had, working on a post about that now.

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    1. I fell in love with the little town of Bayfield, WI, and the surrounding fruit farms. Fantastic place to ‘visit’. We just arrived back in the valley and all set up for the winter. We have a bunch of RV projects on our list that’ll keep us busy for weeks. I look forward to hearing all about the weld issue. Al and I have been going around our rig and looking for failures. Once our energy returns from our storage unit move, we’ll be crawling under the rig and removing the therma-pan ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Yep, lots of maintenance this year.

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  4. I love blueberries but we were too late in the season in Vancouver Island so instead I did my own wild blackberry picking for free.
    Great Video but I vote for a livelier music so I would go get some berries ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Oh, just wait for the ‘real’ videos. I still haven’t worked up the nerve to take them live. We just arrived back in Phoenix for the winter and need to recover from the nearly 2,000-mile drive from WI and CO storage unit move. I’m beat! When ya coming to Phx?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Ingrid,
    If you like blueberries, you MUST travel to my neck of the woods in New England and visit Maine. Ever read the children’s book Blueberries for Sal?
    Loved your photos…they are just wonderful!

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    1. Thank you Nancy. There are so many beautiful places to visit in this country. It seems the more we travel, the longer our travel list gets. At the rate we’re going, I doubt we’ll make it east of Michigan ๐Ÿ˜„

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  6. I feel the same way about still photography, Ingrid, but your video is lovely! Smartphones make it so easy to create video nowadays, totally amazing! I’m in love with blueberries too and eat them every day on my oatmeal! When my cousin showed me here two blueberry bushes at her home in Portland, Oregon, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

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    1. I think I’d eat blueberries more often if I could pick them myself. They were delicious. I love my iPhone 8+ and have already put a few iMovies together. Now that we’re back in Phoenix for the winter, I’ll need to get them uploaded and live, but I’m a tad nervous about putting myself out there. With blogging, we get to hide behind the pages ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When we’d go to northern MN, we always loved picking the wild blueberries as we kept an eye out for black bears. We had an amazing summer in the north woods and are already planning on returning next summer. The videos have been fun and so far I’m doing everything on my iPhone. I hope to improve and graduate to using multiple cameras and editing in Premiere. We’ll see how that goes ๐Ÿ˜

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  7. Oh Blueberry Picking! We have places around here and have only done it once …here. But we picked Wild Blueberries on Cadillac Mountain in Maine with deer right behind us! A beautiful memory!

    Those pancakes look good.

    Your Summer Fun was portrayed in your gallery and video. We will catch up very soon!
    ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿค—

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    1. I still have some berries in the freezer. I’ll need to make something to share with you guys. Loved your little video. We’ll need to go out and about and work on some projects this winter. Safe travels back to the valley ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Such a pretty area. Our plants generate enough to keep a bowl of blueberries sitting on the kitchen island for several weeks. I just grab a handful of them for a quick snack as I pass thru the kitchen.

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    1. Oh, how lucky to have your own blueberry plant. Fortunately, I stocked my little RV freezer with a couple of bags before heading back to Phoenix. They will be rationed ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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  9. “Fruit Loop” – love it! Freshly picked anything from Nature’s bounty is a treat, but blueberries remain one of my favorites. They most often top my morning oatmeal, but I will confess to picking out the biggest berries and simply eating them out of hand. Yum! Here in the northeast, we’re into the fall apple season – it seems like every year there are one or two new varieties to sample, and we’ve been finding new favorites. So glad you had a wonderful summer!

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    1. The apples were just starting to ripen prior to us heading south. Next summer, I hope to stay in northern WI a little longer so I can enjoy fall colors and apple picking. I love baking anything apple! We had a storage moving schedule to stick to this time and am so glad that’s behind us. Now what shall I make with those blueberries stashed in my freezer ๐Ÿค—

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  10. One of the very few things I miss about PA is the U-Pick berries and apples. I loved that there were several farms with in 30 mins. Picking blueberries looks harder than it is since the trees are just about adult height. We are heading to pick apples (and other produce) this week in Hotchkiss. Can’t wait. Sounds like a pretty perfect summer. Looking forward to hearing about your boat tour. I wish we had done that when we were there.

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    1. We had a fantastic boat tour and next summer we want to take the cruise at Pictured Rocks. We got so sidetracked with other activities that we never made it into the UP like we originally planned. Oh well, next summer.
      I love apple picking and baking anything with apples. Oh, and apple cider! I know Palisade, CO peaches are the absolute best. So, I’ll be interested to hear what you think of CO apples.

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  11. Ingrid! Thank you for the you tube video and inspiration. You took me back to summer on the LAST full day of the season. Love fresh Michigan blueberries and strawberries. The apples from the western Michigan fruit coast are a delight. Gotta get up to your neck of the woods someday. Safe travels and look for more inspiration.

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    1. We were supposed to explore the UP during our WI stay, but time got away from us. It was great to return to familiar territory this past summer that made it feel like coming home. MI is such a great state with so much to offer. If it weren’t for the winters, I’d probably want to live there.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love blueberries but iโ€™ve Never picked them my self. Bayfield looks like a really pretty place. I love all the flowers and the painted flamingo is too cute. I always enjoy your photos and Iโ€™m sure iโ€™ll Love your videos!

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    1. This is an area I know you’d enjoy exploring. Al and I used to pick wild blueberries in northern MN. We always had to be aware of our surroundings since we were in black bear territory and eating their berries. ๐Ÿป After five minutes at the farm picking, my SIL was done lol. Although she did keep picking and did the majority of picking because her helper was busy with her camera ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Al and I are already looking forward to returning next summer. Ah … the videos! We’ll see how I feel about putting us out there. At least with blogging, there’s some anonymity ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I so enjoyed this blueberry adventure, Ingrid, and trip to northern Wisconsin. I had no idea there were blueberries and other berries in northern WI, never would’ve guessed it, and I was born in the state! The classic old barn with the stone foundation sure perked me up, a site I am very familiar with and revering of. Loved the video too, with excellent photos and fun spirited elements of you, Ingrid. I laughed out loud when I read who starred in this movie. Thanks for this wonderful post.

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    1. I wondered if anyone would notice the stars of the movie trailer. It’s been fun and frustrating learning video editing. You’ll find I don’t take myself too seriously.

      As a young adult, I hated the Midwest and couldn’t wait to move away. In my mind, it lacked beauty and interest. And now, my wiser self appreciates this landscape. Our summer felt a little like a homecoming even though I only vacationed in WI. Don’t you just love those barns? If it weren’t for those darn winters in WI, a renovated barn surrounded by an orchard and nearby lake would be my ideal home.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tim. Yep picking berries is a lot of work but they sure are tasty. I’ll wave to you Wednesday as Al and I caravan down I-25 to I-40. We’re moving our stuff in storage and I get to drive the U-Haul truck while Al is in the truck/RV. One of these trips, we’ll have time to actually stop for a visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have not spent time in Wisconsin other then Milwaukee for business. Would love to spend some time in the countryside. We find wild blueberries and raspberries in Colorado on occasion – its fun to find them backpacking to then throw into some pancakes ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Gosh, we lived in Colorado over 20 years and did not know there are wild blueberries. Guess we never traveled to the right places or looked for them. This is our third summer not spending any time in CO and I am missing our mountain adventures. Well, technically I am currently sitting in Colorado, but we’re along the front range and getting ready to load up our storage unit full of stuff into a U-Haul and driving it to Phoenix. So this CO trip doesn’t count ๐Ÿ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Moving to Phoenix! Wow, thatโ€™s a change! Are you excited?!! I agree, this visit doesnโ€™t count. You donโ€™t find blueberries very often in CO thatโ€™s for sure! Good luck with the move!

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        1. Well, we’re still living in the RV full-time. Just moving items from storage in Colorado to storage in Arizona and giving more items to the kids who live in Phoenix. We’re not ready to put down roots anywhere … just yet.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet that was beautiful. The farm we visited was fun and very pretty but I still prefer wild blueberry picking. Perhaps the thrill of encountering a black bear adds to the adventure.

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      1. We donโ€™t get wild Berryโ€™s here in WA. There are a few blackberries in some parts of the country, but they get sprayed with weed killer so you canโ€™t really pick the berries.

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