News Releases

July 15, 2011

Get the Blues This Weekend – Blueberries That Is!

Have you had the blues after all the soggy weather this spring? Dash them by getting out to your local Pick Your Own field for some of the best blueberries in years.

“Vermont has some of the best blueberries anywhere and this year producers are reporting a particularly good crop – one of the best in years,” said Chuck Ross, Secretary of Agriculture. “Blueberries are known for their nutritional value and they taste great, especially when you pick them fresh, right from the bush. Take advantage of the season here in Vermont and enjoy one of summer’s perfect foods.”

Unlike some other crops, blueberries thrive in the wet conditions we had this spring. Producers are reporting plump, juicy berries more abundant than last year. One producer in Southern Vermont said it may turn out to be one the best years on record for his blueberry crop.

And the evidence is mounting as to the health benefits of blueberries. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that blueberries ranked first in anti-oxidants in comparison to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. They are packed with fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium and folate.

“Blueberries are one of the most popular crops in Vermont and families from all over the state as well as from neighboring regions visit our blueberry fields each year to spend some quality family time, enjoy beautiful surroundings and fresh air and to experience the open landscape we cherish,” said Lawrence Miller, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.

What to look for when blueberry picking:

• Look for berries that are plump and fresh looking;

• Pay particular attention to their color; they should be blue, black or purple;

• Blueberries have a waxy gray deposit on the skin called bloom. This is a protective coating that should not be washed off until you are ready to use them;

• Blueberries spoil quickly if left at room temperature, but can be stored in the refrigerator for three days.

For a complete list of Vermont Pick Your Own locations click here http://www.vermontagriculture.com/buylocal/buy/pyo_map.html . Have a favorite blueberry recipe? Send it to Kelly’s Kitchen at kelly.loftus@state.vt.us.

Source: Agency of Agriculture
Last Updated at: July 15, 2011 16:15:45