Blueberries. They are everywhere around here. Giant fields with rows and rows of high bush blueberry shrubs. Most have some you-pick rows. It looked like there were many fields with farmhands picking berries. We saw a couple with some sort of machine. And roadside blueberry stands where you could buy already picked. And somehow “washed” seemed to be a distinction at many of these.
The bushes are about 4-5 ft high and loaded with berries. It wouldn’t take long to fill a bucket here.
The National Blueberry Festival in South Haven is a bit spread out. We were expecting more organization, a more central focus. There is a big pavilion near the city hall where the Farmer’s market was earlier in the week. They had a pancake breakfast there on Saturday morning and a blueberry market the rest of the day and again on Sunday. You could buy blueberries in any size package you wanted. There were blueberry pies, blueberry muffins, blueberry scones, blueberry jams and anything else you could imaging that had blueberries in it. We bought a five pound box of blueberries. I have never seen that many in one place. It was about 8 pints as you would find them in the grocery store. In a 5 pound box they were about $1.50 a pint. Very inexpensive. Very sweet.
The pancake breakfast was held at the airport on Sunday. We thought about going to the pancake breakfast one day but curiously neither mentioned blueberry pancakes. If not for those why would you go. So on Sunday morning we made blueberry pancakes for ourselves. My idea of blueberry pancakes is blueberries surrounded by the minimum possible batter to make a pancake. More blueberries than pancake. We make enough for us and usually have 3 or 4 left. They get frozen. Frozen blueberry pancakes with a bit of butter and maple syrup on top, reheated just to hot in the microwave are almost as good as when we made them.
The only place to get a T-shirt or anything else that said Blueberry festival was at a tent near the river that flowed through South Haven into Lake Michigan. There was a marina spread out along both sides of the river, lots of boats of all sizes only a 1/4 mile or so to Lake Michigan. We went there on Sunday morning. Some small and med T-shirts of a few of the styles left. No hats, no bags if they ever had them. Not much to choose from, we were surprised. So no souvenirs.
Across the river over a narrow drawbridge was a park full of craft and stuff vendors. It was the biggest part of the entire festival and nothing there had anything to do with blueberries. You could get food from lots of food trucks, I bought a raffle ticket for two nice kayaks that I am sure I will win and if you can imagine what you might find at one of these craft shows there was likely at least two places selling them.
Douglas and Amanda’s booth was right next to the central flower garden.
It was attracting lots of lookers and quite a few buyers. I waited to take this picture. They reported the Saturday was a very good day. Amanda makes all of the jewelry with help from Douglas. They do about 25-30 shows a year and sell on their website.
If you order something from them and use “Home 2” as a promotion code you can get 20% off! It is really nice.
We stopped at Captain Lou’s for lunch. It was after 1PM and it was still very busy. I had Cajun Perch tacos and Susan had a salmon wrap. Both were just the right size and very good.
The Michigan Maritime Museum was next door so we went in and looked at that, pretty small and not much to see for the entrance fee. There was a Coast Guard exhibit and a boat workshop that were probably more interesting.
You could buy tickets to go sailing on a fairly big old sailboat or a harbor ride in a Captains Barge.
What really caught my eye was a wooden ChrisCraft boat from the 1930s. Big V6 inboard, originally had a straight six.
Pretty much all else original. Just as I think I remember from On Golden Pond
These folks were on a one hour boat ride that went out into Lake Michigan. Lots of fun for them.
South Haven is known for its beach, it is not all that much of a beach but it is the first big beach on this side of Lake Michigan going north. So it is a popular place for folks from Chicago and Indiana. Lots of homes in town are nothing more than vacation rental places with owners from somewhere else. The population is only 4,200. It is actually busier in the winter with snowmobile activity than it is in the summer. Here, summer is the off season. Go figure.
More later, Much Love
Roger and Susan