The Blueberry Festival at Roper Mountain Science Museum in Greenville, South Carolina is a great family event.
If you have never been, I highly recommend you put this on your “things to do” for next summer!
There was so much to see and learn, that we could only do about half of the activities offered.
Besides loads of activities and learning adventures, there were lots of venders at this event selling their fresh blueberries, jams, pies, honey, beef, chicken, blueberry plants, crafts, and more. I have included a few of the venders and links to their businesses in this story.
The Happy Berry is located in Six Mile, SC . Here is the link to their website http://www.thehappyberry.com/
We loved the sweet flavor of their blueberries. They offer a “pick your own” option at the farm for $2.50 a pound. And we definitely plan to make a trip out to their blueberry farm and go picking this summer. They had containers of blueberries today for $6, $12, and $22. They also had fresh picked green beans, and jams and jellies for sale at the festival today.
The Hardy Berry was bright and cheery with their smiles and beautiful sunflowers. Here is a link to their website http://www.hardyberryfarm.com/
They also were selling fresh berries and jams at today’s event. They will be hosting a Kids Festival at their farm for September and October and invited all the families to come. They will have tons of fun stuff to do during their special event this fall.
They shared free blueberry samples with everyone. Here is my six year old tasting a sample of their berries.
Just look at all that EYE CANDY! Aren’t these baskets full of berries just beautiful?
I didn’t catch the name of the gal who baked these, but she obviously worked very hard. She told us she baked dozens of these pies the day before the festival and brought huge coolers full to sell at her booth. She sold out of pies several hours before the festival was over. She let people buy them in advance, and then she kept them cool for them while they finished touring the festival. Then before leaving, the folks would stop back by to pick up their pie to take home. I just thought that extra service she was willing to do for folks really said allot.
My 11 year old son begged for us to buy a pie to take home. So we did, and we can’t wait to dig in to it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream tonight for a special treat!
Meet The Great Harvest Bakery from Woodruff Road, Greenville, South Carolina. Here is a link to their website http://www.carolinabreadheads.com/
They grind their own fresh flour for the baked products they make. WOW! I was so impressed. They gave away huge slices of whatever you wanted. Want to try two? No Problem! They had huge lines of people lined up to try samples and another huge line of folks wanting to buy products.
We tried samples of lemon blueberry frosted loaf, blueberry scones, and whole wheat bread with blueberry jam. These were full size portions, not small samples. I could not believe how generous they were.
They also had several different breads, muffins, pastries, etc. Way to many to mention all the varieties. Everything tasted like it had just come out of the oven. Everything tasted nutrient dense too, not like fluffy stuff from the grocery store. No this was full flavored, full textured and absolutely delicious.
We bought a beautiful loaf of whole wheat bread, and the lemon blueberry bread for breakfast this week.
I also met, but forgot to get a picture, of the only organic blueberry farm in South Carolina who sells their products exclusively to Whole Foods. They had large tasty berries to sample too. They told me they have two farms, one in Marrietta, and one in Salem.
Living History Farm
Meet Amanda and Amanda from the Living History Farm. They were sharing slices of watermelon with all the visitors.
My kids were all to happy to share a sweet refreshing slice of watermelon on this very warm sunny day.
They savored every bite!
After finishing the watermelon slices, the Amandas’ told the kids to participate in a watermelon rind throwing contest. The goal was to see who could throw their rind the farthest over the fence into the cow pasture.
In this historic log cabin, these ladies were making blueberry preserves and lathering it on slices of fresh bread, and enjoying it with mugs of fresh milk. They explained the process of picking the berries and making the preserves. High in vitamins, this special jam, or preserves, helped many people stay healthy through the year, especially during the winter when the body needs more vitamin C from the diet.
Here is the spot they cook everything in this log cabin. They had just made their preserves when we arrived. Last month when we visited, they made potat
oes, onions, and herbs in this fireplace and gave samples for the children to eat. They cook a lot of food for the Living Farm in this kitchen. We have seen several staff at the farm enjoying meals that were prepared in here.
On this next fire outside, the Slow Food of Upstate South Carolina was demonstrating a traditional food made by the Native American Indians and shared with the pilgrims and other foreigners when they first came and settled in the North East.
Cream (or water)
Honey or Maple Syrup (just a little of one or the other)
Cook this mixture slowly over a low heat until the cornmeal is done. Enjoy like porridge or oatmeal. This recipe was found in a few of the journals of the late 1600’s. They also believe this was brought by the Native Americans to the first Thanksgiving and shared with the pilgrims. They suggested this dish would be good today as a breakfast, and as a side dish for a dinner meal with meat such as turkey.
It was very tasty and not to sweet.
Another food the Native Americans made with blueberries was PEMMICAN. This is fun to make and I have made it several times. They basically dried the berries and dried buffalo meat. Then pound the two together in a mortar and pedestal. Add a little fat to this, and it keeps forever.
Pemmican is a “super food” and is very nutrient dense. It is full of protein and vitamin C plus other nutrients, and kept the Natives strong and healthy on their journies and throughout the winter months. The version I like the best is meat (either beef, buffalo, or deer) ground fresh before drying, and mixed with dried ground berries, sea salt and spices of choice, then formed into strips before drying. After drying it resembles beef jerky strips, except it has dried fruit mixed in. I especially like it mixed with dried cherries.
This woman is dying garments and yarns with indigo, and others with blueberries to make different colors for clothing and belts.
After she dyes the items, she hangs them up to dry. Here is a blouse she died with indigo, and a belt she dyed with blueberries.
In the Herb Garden, a volunteer was demonstrating making bow ties with Lambs Ear. The kids thought this was really something. Lambs Ear feels soft and just like a real animal’s ear.
The Herb Garden was really special. It was an overwhelming sensory experience. The garden is surrounded by a picket fence. Then inside the garden is a series of circles or rings that encircle the whole garden. Each ring gets a little smaller as you walk to the center where there is a lovely stone well full of ice cold spring water. As you pass each ring, a new aroma hits your nose and brain and it is a very amazing and lively place to sit and take a rest and enjoy the amazing smells.
There was so much more to see today at the Living History Farm including farm animals, woodworking, black smith, crafts (the kids could make their own blueberry baskets), learn about milking a cow, and more. There are lots of cabins to visit and see the period life. There was a cabin full of period games for children to play too. It is hard to pull my kids from this special cabin.
You could really get a feel for how the people lived two hundred years ago, how they ate, slept, gardened, worked, hunted, spent their free time, etc.
One of the animals the children learned about today was the Brown Bear. The brown bear loves to eat blueberries and many other wild berries. Besides learning about his diet, the kids got to see a pile of bear poop too. They thought that was gross, but cool too.
The Roper Mountain Science Museum is really a huge campus of lots of museums (nature, geological and mineral, prehistoric, animal science, marine science, insects, reptiles, human body, technology, etc), several gardens, living history farm, and a planetarium.
There is way to much to mention all we did in this story, so I just showed you the Blueberry activities. The rest of what we did today will be going into a story labeled Roper Mountain Science Museum. Last month, I also wrote a story about the NASA Celebration they hosted. Please stop by and check out the other stories about this wonderful place for families to go and do learning adventures.
NOW FOR SOME MORE EYE CANDY:
Here are some of the delicious items we brought home with us from the Blueberry Festival:
Great Harvest Fresh Baked Bread
Frosted Lemon Blueberry Loaf
Which we enjoyed for breakfast the next morning! This was so delicious with glasses of fresh raw milk and mugs of warm mocha lattes. YUMMY!!!
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If you would like to know more about Blueberries and do some fun science with them and your kids, here are a few links to help you learn more:
Blueberry Mini Unit Study
Blueberry Lesson Plans, Unit Studies, Lapbooks, and Activities
The Quilt Makers Gift Unit Study and Lapbook
Blueberries For Sal Unit Study
Blueberries For Sal Lesson Plan
Blueberries For Sal Lapbook
Example #1 of a homeschool family’s completed Blueberries For Sal Lapbook
Example #2 of a homeschool family’s completed Blueberries For Sal Lapbook
Blueberry Science and FACTS
Juice Density Science Experiment
Make a natural dye with blueberries science experiment
Natural Dye Lesson Plans
Blueberry Dye Recipe
Blueberry Science and Facts
More Blueberry Science and Facts
Online Blueberry Science and Math Game: Blueberry Challenge
Blueberries and Health
May shrink tumors
Mexican blueberries may be more potent than us blueberries.
May improve memory
May help build strong bones
May lower cholesterol
How To Grow Blueberries
Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Video
95 Calorie Blueberry Smoothie Video
White Custard and Berry Tart
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Grandma’s Blueberry Pie
LOTS more Blueberry Recipes
Blueberry Coloring Pages and Crafts
Basket of Blueberries
Blueberries on the plant
A bee and blueberry plant
Paper craft of a blueberry pie
Paper craft of a blueberry basket
Blueberry Cork Stamp Craft
Blueberry Milk Paint
Don’t forget that July is National Blueberry Month. Be sure to include some blueberry fun with your kids this month.
How do you enjoy your blueberries? Leave us a comment, thanks!
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