The age old battle continues. Whats the difference between hand picked blueberries and machine picked blueberries. The hand picked blueberries are firmer, because they are typically not as sweet/ripe, as they are the first of the crop. We can't machine pick these earliest berries, as it would damage the rest of the berries on the bush which are still ripening. The riper/sweeter the berry the softer it becomes. For Machine picked berries, the majority of the berries have to be ripe, because the majority will fall off as the picker goes through. With hand picking you can select the berries that are the biggest and the bluest and the ripest. We, the farmer, expect a highest quality from the hand pickers.