Why blueberries are good for your health — and good for NJ
Blueberry season is in full swing in the Garden State. Known as "the king of anti-oxidants," these big, super sweet berries are chock full of nutrients, low in calories and most important, grown locally.
"Blueberry season in the Garden State is one of the primary indicators that the Jersey Fresh season is at its peak," state Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher said.
Blueberries were the No. 1 crop in New Jersey for 2020 with a production value of $85 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. New Jersey annually ranks in the top six in the nation in the production of blueberries.
Fisher said Garden State farmers harvested 46 million pounds of blueberries last year as well.
It's a very compressed season. It starts in mid-June and lasts until the end of July. Fisher said it's a lot of action and things move fast during this time.
During the height of blueberry season, production can be as high as 250,000 to 300,000 crates per day.
The weather has been super cooperative this season for Jersey blueberries, leading to huge production numbers. Fisher said the sunshine and the warmth have been big, contributing factors for the plethora of berries.
But he also New Jersey soil is perfect for growing blueberries. The highbush blueberry (the ones a person would normally find in a grocery store) got its start in the Garden State.
New Jersey residents are not the only ones who love these plump berries. New Jersey's No. 1 export location is Canada.
"Our blueberry farmers are dedicated and passionate about the crop they grow, and it is evident in the high quality and delicious produce they deliver to consumers each year," Fisher said.
Go to www.FindJerseyFresh.com to see where Jersey Fresh blueberries are available locally and to find recipes that include great tasting treats.