We are so fortunate, here in upstate New York. We have a variety of local farms offering you-pick blueberries. All of our commercial berries here are highbush.
No admission charge, either. (I understand some farms now charge admission to pick - which bothers me but maybe one of my readers can justify that practice.)
Yes, you will have to wear sunscreen, bring some kind of bug repellent (there are natural ones available if you wish), and wear a hat to ward off the sun. You also should bring some water. Children and grandparents are optional. The lovely thing about blueberry picking is that almost anyone can participate. The plants do not have thorns, and you can stand up (or sit down) and pick.
How do you know blueberries are ripe? Well, in the picture above, the ones at the top of the picture are definitely not ripe. There will be berries in all stages on the bush. The best way to judge ripeness is to see if the berry has 'bloom" on it - in other words it should look like it has a dusty whitish frosting on it Your bloomin' berry should be firm. Shriveled means "too late".
This is where children come in. Many people pick at "chest" level. They miss the low down berries. Train your children to think low (low, but not touching the ground low) and they may get all the wonderful berries everyone else has missed.
Size (unlike in some things) does not matter. In fact, some people think the smaller the berry, the sweeter.
You don't have to worry about deep buckets (unlike raspberries, which will squash).
Once you get the berries home DO NOT WASH UNTIL JUST ABOUT READY TO USE. You don't want to wash the bloom off. They will keep 2 weeks (I admit to keeping them longer) in the fridge.
How to eat? A lot of people like them with cream or sugar. But I've always loved them "au natural".
What is your favorite way to prepare blueberries?