This weekend we went blueberry picking in the Netherlands, and the coolest part is that it was only about 30 minutes from our guest house.
We went to Oppe Boesj in Koningsbosch, Netherlands, and I don’t know if I was more surprised with how how organized it was or with how many blueberries there were in their bushes.
I already can’t wait to go again next year.
What You Need to Know
If you’re in the Geilenkirchen area, here’s what you need to know about blueberry picking in the Netherlans:
Where we went: Oppe Boesj
Where it is: Prinsenbaan 45, 6104 BB Koningsbosch
Call them: (+31)(0)475-301317
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 am —noon (call first!)
Season: end of June through August
How much: €3.50 per kg
Blueberries for Days
Granted, I haven’t done much blueberry picking in my life, but there were so many blueberries available to pick!
The berries were high, they were low, they were in the middle of the bushes—they were everywhere.
I think I counted at least 105 rows of blueberry bushes, and you could only move on to another bush once you picked every single last blue berry available on your bush.
Y’all, we walked away with 6kg (13 pounds) of blueberries.
Needless to say, but you’ll be seeing some blueberry recipes pop up here in the coming weeks since we’ll be swimming in them for awhile.
How to Pick Blueberries in the Netherlands
Keep a close eye out while you’re driving to Oppe Boesj—if you blink you may miss the teeny-tiny, car-width entrance.
As soon as you’re through the bottleneck entrance to get in, someone will greet you and give you buckets for your berries—if you have kids, ask for a smaller bucket here.
Also, we think you’re expected to fill up your buckets, so keep that in mind when you’re getting yours.
As a family we had two buckets total and brought home more than a dozen pounds of berries.
Once you have your buckets they’ll direct you to park—our person directing us was wearing an orange safety vest so we knew who to look for.
Park, slather on your sunscreen, grab your hat and sunglasses, and don’t forget your buckets.
Find your Blueberry Bush(es)
When you’re ready, look for someone who looks in charge and they’ll point you to what bush you can tackle.
We kinda got scolded for veering away from our blueberry bush before we picked all of the berries on it, so make sure you get in there and get every little blueberry.
*And by scolded I mean they just gestured to us that we needed to stay at the bush we’re at.
We were there with another American family (friends of ours), so there were four adults and six kids tackling a couple bushes at a time, and thankfully we had all heights to get berries from the very bottom, in between and at the top.
It was fairly busy (the parking areas were full) on the Saturday morning we were there, but it didn’t feel busy while we were picking. Everyone kept their distance.
Paying for Your Berries
It’s always a little tricky to do something new in a foreign country that requires communicating. For example: how do you pay for your buckets of berries?!
It this particular place you have two options: Get back in your car and put the buckets in your trunk. Start driving out (the way you came in), and then pull over just before the exit. Get out of the car, get your buckets, and go to the little building to pay.
OR, do as we did and we paid for them before we got in our car.
Thankfully, there was one young guy working who spoke English and gave us our total (€21 for 6kg), and also put them in crates for us (you can bring your own buckets, bags, or crates to put your berries in; their buckets must be returned).
All the Blueberries
So now that we’re home, we’ve rinsed and divided all of our berries, and we have a plan for them.
Besides snacking on them and adding them to yogurt, cereal, and oatmeal, we have lots of plans up our sleeve for how we’ll use them, and I have a post in the works with recipes (look for that next week!).
In the meantime, have you gone blueberry picking before? How was the experience? We’re already excited to go again next year!