Punch Buggy Blueberry

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Our all-seeing school bus driver with the flip-up, two-tone shades and an extra-wide mirror above her head had a ranking system that was distinguishable by the depth and tone of her voice. Sit in rows 1-8 and she was all Care Bears and Holly Hobby. But get to the middle or back of the long yellow diesel dragon and you were in the zone that had “already been accused.” Whether it was trading homemade cinnamon sticks or making spitball guns out of plastic pen casings and coat hangers, she had a knack for sniffing out trouble just from your choice of seating. As June approached and the sliding metal windows started clicking open, the number of punch buggy sightings always increased. It was many a pre-summer afternoon that I walked home from the bus stop with an arm tenderized by the older and less humanitarian back-of-the-bus kids who seemed to have a psychic ability to predetermine where VW bugs were on every block. Today I see kids playing punch buggy but it’s more complicated, sort of like art history algebra tag. My nine-year-old daughter, for example, will see a VW and tag her friends saying: “Salsa Red punch buggy convertible, no revenge, group.” Which means – no get backs for the entire group even if you can’t actually reach them. I know that every generation makes adaptations to old games but this generation seems to have a punch buggy with the color knowledge of an art student and the reach of Wi-Fi.

blueberriesWhile modern punch buggy games include Gecko Green or Sunflower Yellow, specific classification has gone in the other direction for blueberries over the years. As a matter of fact many blueberry packs are actually mixes of a few varieties so that there is a “blend” in each serving. Why do you get a tart blue that is small and a sweet blue that is large? It might not just be a difference in when the berry was picked but a different variety as well. This week in our Central mix, we’ll see this kind of blueberry “blend” (grown in Florida). In California we’ll have the Star Blueberry from Fairfield Farms in Pauma Valley, CA. On the East Coast we are waiting on New Jersey blues which should start in June.

See what’s in your regional mix here. Enjoy and be fruitful!

- Chris Mittelstaedt chris@fruitguys.com

 

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