“THE BLUEBERRY GIRL. How Elizabeth Coleman White Came to Love Blueberries,” my presentation at Whitesbog Village, Saturday, June 29th was fantastic. I used my artist’s beautiful illustrations in a visual “storytelling” workshop with the children and parents at the General Store. This power point workshop is a great way to tell “Miss Lizzie’s” story, and I plan to use it in classrooms in the Fall after my book is published.
Over 8,000 people attend the annual Blueberry Festival at Whitesbog in Browns Mills! I was able to show the children who came to my workshop the bleeding heart plant that grows around Elizabeth’s historic home, Suningive, and tell them the folklore story of the bleeding heart. And they loved squeezing water out of the sphagnum moss, which grows around the cranberry bogs there. The Lenapes used the moss for dressing wounds, and the early settlers used it as diaper material. Oooh!
I did rather miss writing a poem with the children as I’ve done the past three Festivals in my “Muncha Buncha Blueberries” workshop. We would read our poem to the “Miss Lizzie” re-enactor who gives tours at Suningive, Elizabeth’s historic home at Whitesbog. “Bueberries blue as the night sky, sweeter than honey…”
Still, it was a wonderful day for blueberries and the story of a remarkable girl who cultivated the wild blueberry, giving us all the blueberries we eat today!