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      Blueberries are ripe for picking in the Keweenaw

      Over 80,000 pounds of blueberries are picked and sold each year at Pancho's in Lake Linden.

      Owner Bob Brady said he and his wife, Morena, have owned the property for nearly 12 years, which they say has the perfect soil type for blueberries. He said theyâ??ve have grown the business from a field of brush and tree stumps to 40 acres of high-bush blueberries and 60 acres of wild blueberries.

      â??People come from as far away as central Wisconsin. A lot of people come from Minnesota who have family in the area, and more and more people from Marquette every year,â?? said Brady.

      They sell machine-picked berries by the pound, but most people come to pick berries themselves, some even make it a family affair.

      Though Pancho's always has a good yield, this year the season was delayed because the winter frost lasted so long throughout the spring. Brady said as long as temperatures don't dip below freezing anytime soon, they'll be open later than usual this year.

      â??It's going to be questionable if we'll ever be able to harvest, if these berries will all ripen in time before it freezes, but we have some irrigation to protect against freezing and we're hoping to extend the season at least until the end of September,â?? explained Brady.

      For now, the wild blueberries at Pancho's are ready for picking. Brady said the high-bush berries won't be ready for a few more days, but he said they'll be sweetest in another week or so after they've hung on the bushes for a little while longer.