Sunday, August 10, 2008
Harvest Time for Maine Blueberries!
Did you know that Maine produces over 90% of the wild blueberry crops harvested each year in the United States. And these are not planted crops, rather wild blueberries, tended to and hand harvested with a rake specifically made for this purpose. Some of the local blueberry farms even hand them out to visiting guests! Wild blueberries are smaller than their cultivated counterparts, and have a more intense, tangy-sweet flavor. Wild blueberry crops are maintained by farmers who own the land they grow on, and many farmers have been doing so for generations, with some fields having thousands of years history! The wild blueberry bush has a 2 year cycle, which means that every other year a blueberry bush will produce berries. During the year that no berries are produced, the farmers try to help the vegetative growth to increase. This helps the general health of the blueberry bush as a whole plant. During a blueberry-producing year, the plant is prepared for an August harvest, when the blueberries will be ready for picking. So here we are in August, with this vitamin and antioxidant abundant fruit at our fingertips. Lots of great recipes available for their use! Next time you are in Maine, consider a trip to one of these amazing farms! For more information, visit http://www.theheartofnewengland.com/backporch-MaineBlueberries.html to find out where!