Blueberries, Fruit-Loving Birds, and Cobbler Recipe
This year I have been in a quandary! After such a mild spring with plentiful rains and sunshine, the fruit garden is coming on gang-busters! Currants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, developing elderberries – and now the blueberries! Seems we have created a fruit-loving bird’s paradise ~ and a challenge!
Mockingbirds, brown thrashers, robins, and cardinals are all nesting nearby, laying eggs, and hoping to feed their young our fruit!!
What is this bird? I’ve never seen a beak quite like that in a brown thrasher! He says, “How do you like my amazing curved beak? All the better with which to pluck your berries, my dear :>”
Last year we deployed the fruit netting, but just draped it over the bushes with no support on the top. We never thought that several of our feathered friends would try landing on top to sit and pick off berries right through the net! Duh! We should have made a frame or used tent posts to hold it up high enough that they couldn’t be tempted to steal the berries.
So needless to say, our experience with the netting in 2012 was poor. It was a drought year in our area, berries were sparse, and the fruit-eaters were hungry, so they went to extra lengths to get to the fruit and a few got themselves tangled. We were pretty stressed worrying that a bird would get caught and die in the hot sun, so we checked as often as we could.
We rescued an immature robin from the net and an adult brown thrasher (this one with a straight beak) who was trapped. This big guy, a little worse for the wear, was saved in the nick of time and relished the water provided 🙂 It was heartening to see him revive so quickly!
This year we have not used the netting due to a lack of time, but I have resolved to get out early to pick the ripe blueberries. It is good motivation to awaken early, provides a refreshing time in the garden to reflect on God’s beauteous and bounteous provision, and it is a game to me to see if I can beat the birds to most of the berries before breakfast! The mockingbirds and thrashers love to heckle me then.
I hope this arrangement will be satisfactory to us and the birds!
Blueberries ripen a few on each cluster each new day, so we can harvest a pint or a little more each morning.
At some point the harvest will swell, and we will make jam and freeze what we don’t add to oatmeal, a pie or two, and blueberry cobbler.
Thank you, Lord, for near perfect weather conditions for berries!
1 quart blueberries (4 cups) 1/3 cup organic butter (now I use virgin coconut oil) 1/2 cup quick or old-fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour 1/2 c. – 3/4 c. sucanat, honey, or organic cane sugar, depending on desired sweetness 3/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Divide the blueberries in between 8 ramekins, about a half cup each.
In a mixer or by hand, combine the remaining ingredients and mix until clumps have formed. Spread the mixture over the blueberries.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until blueberries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown.