Blueberries are more than delicious, abundant, and free for the picking. They are also one of the most healthful of all fruits and vegetables. With plenty of fiber and vitamin C as well as natural antioxidants, blueberries have been credited with warding off wrinkles and varicose veins, maintaining good vision, healing urinary tract infections, improving memory, and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). Just 1/2 cup daily – that’s 42 calories worth – will provide many benefits, but the research that showed improved memory was based on eating 2 1/2 cups a day. At 1/2 cup, 9 ice cream pails of berries per person per year would be needed–definitely doable for the avid berry picker in a good patch. Blueberries are simple to preserve by drying or freezing, losing none of their beneficial qualities. Organically grown berries are more beneficial, according to research, and of course that’s what you get on a canoe trip. Blueberries blend well with other foods, although they are healthiest uncooked. Try adding them to trail mixes, smoothies, almost any dessert, salads, oatmeal or granola, and wild rice dishes. Jam made with half blueberries and half rhubarb is deliciously sweet and tart. For a totally Native American sweet dish mix cooked wild rice, blueberries, and maple sugar. You can stir in some milk for the Scandinavian influence or to make it seem more like breakfast. If you can’t get to the woods to pick your blueberry supply, try growing them at home. Keep the soil acidic and watered regularly, and you’ll have a bountiful crop of north woods wholesomeness.