10 thoughts on ““Blueberry Years” gets great review in Roanoke Times

  1. Hi Jim, Just finished your “Blueberry Years” book. I really enjoyed it. It took me back to my childhood years . I was born and grew up at the blueberry fields where my father was the foreman. He took care of the two large blueberry fields for the owner. We lived on the property so my dog and I roamed the fields, the surrounding New Jersey pine woods, walked up and down long rows and rows of bushes, enjoyed the stream that ran through the lower field where I gathered water washed stones of pink, clear ,tan and white and ate lots of blueberries. The Jerseys were my favorite and I remember the names of many of the other berry bushes. I road on the tractor to the field with my father when I was little and when I was older, I learned to drive on the old truck with the flat back built to carry the carriers filled with pint boxes of berries from the pickers sheds in the fields to the packing house where I worked with local people from the Pines who “topped” and covered the pints with clear covering with the company name stamped on it. They were packed in cedar flats made in the back of the packing house .covered with two thin cedar wood pieces and stacked for shipping. Dad and his small crew of local workers took care off the plowing, planting ,pruning, mowing, picking, packing and sending our truck load of berry filled flats to the location a few towns away where they would be shipped to stores. I remember one year when a late freeze took much of the crop. My mother and I stood at the living room window and looked out at bushes covered with sparkling ice frozen on the bushes to protect them fom frost. We had problems with deer. The company brought in fencing and the men put it around the lower field. I don,t remember the upper field being fenced. We lived at the Blueberry Fields until the company sold it after many years. Thanks for your book. Who says, “You can’t go home?” Your book took me back home. I will always remember my blueberry years. Barbara

  2. Barbara,
    Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your great memories. Sounds like you had a great blueberry childhood!
    Glad you enjoyed the book and that it took you back to those times.
    Again, thanks and all the best,

  3. Just read the last page of your book. I was so pleased to see your website listed because I so much wanted you to know what an incredibly enjoyable experience it was. Your beautiful prose, along with your bare-naked honesty gave this book a “page-turner” status without containing any of the usual requirements to make it so. You are truly a talented writer and I, for one, am glad you put the blueberry years aside in order to create this wonderful book.

    • Nancy,
      Thanks for your kind words about The Blueberry Years–and my apologies for not responding–obviously I need to check more often!
      Again, I’m glad you enjoyed the book and wish you continued good reading.
      All best,

  4. Jim,
    I just finished your book, “The Blueberry Years”. What a great story and experience that you presented. It was reminiscent of “A Year in Provence” ,at least to me, but much richer in storyline, details, and if not a complete baring of your soul, at least a letting of it all hang out. I wish I would have read your book before I tried growing my own blueberry bushes years ago in the lat 90′s.
    I would like to learn more of your travails on your new farm. It was sad to hear of the new owners treatment of your blueberry farm, but like everything else when you sell something and give it up you have to be prepared for the unexpected and a total disregard for your blood sweat and tears by the new owner especially if they aren’t tuned in to hard work.
    I will try another of your books, since I enjoyed this one so much.

    Best regards

    • Dennis,
      Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed the book and could relate. How did you find the book, btw? I’m always curious how books travel.

      I had a piece in the Spring 2014 issue of Oxford American about our new farm called “Deer Drowning” that might be of interest.

      Again, thanks and all best,

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