Pick your own blueberries at Indiana farm

August 4, 2008 9:11:59 AM PDT
Blueberries of all kinds are showing up in Chicago these days. Most of them are coming from Indiana or Michigan. The Hungry Hound found a "you-pick" farm on the other side of the lake where some berries end up in your bucket, others, on local menus. At the Duneland Beach Inn, a cozy Bed and breakfast in Michigan City, Indiana, they're used to hearty breakfasts. This time of year, local blueberries grace several parts of the menu.

"They stay plump and juicy whether you freeze 'em or you serve 'em fresh, so I try and get a least five pounds a week," said Annette Corbett, Duneland Beach Inn.

Whether they're combined with cream cheese in the stuffed French toast, baked with sour cream for the pie or just layered in a parfait, guests always love the fact they're local.

"It is great in that sometimes whether it's a younger couple, older couple or people with kids, we can say 'go pick the blueberries at the blueberry farm,' " said Corbett.

That would be Billy Boy's Blueberry Barn, just a few miles away.

"We have you-pickers that come every day, every week. And then we have people that don't wanna pick, that just want to come to the area and go to the beach and just have a good time that way," said Aggie Cipolla, Billy Boy's Blueberry Barn.

They grow about a half-dozen different varieties of berries, and if you can resist not eating them right off the bush, some of them will get turned into preserves.

On weekends, you can also buy them baked into fluffy muffins or fruit-filled pie. Protection from the lake certainly helps the crop; Cipolla and her family have run the farm for just over a decade, and she says blueberry lovers of all ages have made Billy Boy's an annual stop.

"Our motto here is, 'everybody come out here and have fun and to lower your blood pressure, forget about your problems, and just pick and eat and just have a nice family day,' " said Cipolla.

Now, blueberry season is dependent on the weather and they say the season here should last at least through August, which gives you plenty of time to come out and pick your own and start baking, or just eat them out of hand.

Billy Boy's is open everyday through Labor Day.

Billy Boy's Blueberry Barn
650 Freyer Rd.
Michigan City, IN
219-872-7477
www.billyboysblueberrybarn.com

From Chicago:
take I-94 East to Exit #40B
(Rt. 20 - Rt. 35 Exit)
Go one mile North to US 212
(Rt. 212 is also known as US Rt. 20)
Go North, three miles to Freyer Rd.
Turn left and go four blocks, farm is on the right

Duneland Beach Inn
3311 Pottawattomie Trail
Michigan City, IN
219-874-7729


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