12 Jul A Little Blueberry History
For years now, our family has enjoyed the sweet taste of Bluecrop blueberries! Every summer, we eat enough to replace entire meals. They are best enjoyed after being picked warm off the plants, and it’s a daily occurrence for us to grab a handful anytime we get in range of the plants or containers of berries that get picked for selling. However, we save the best ones for our customers of course, because that’s who we pick them for!
Blueberries are good for you and one cup of blueberries provides us with 14% of our daily fibre requirements, and 24% of our Vitamin C requirements, along with a list of other vitamins. They are full of nutritional benefits!
Blueberries also have an interesting history! We’ve read that in Ireland, baskets of blueberries are still offered to a sweetheart in commemoration of the original fertility festival that happens each August 1. Although we don’t how true that is, it does sound lovely! They call it Lammas day, which is also their harvest celebration.
Did you know that blueberries are native to North America? Long before they were cultivated in the early 1900s, they grew wild, and were enjoyed by the Indigenous people. Of interest, they harvested the “star berries”, which are the blossom ends that form at the end of the berry, and is shaped like a five-point star. Thereafter, they ate them fresh or dried them for later use.
I love that they picked berries as families, and we at our farm are able to enjoy the same privilege! The Indigenous people believed blueberry juice to be the cure for a cough, and that tea made from blueberry leaves was good for the blood. They also used blueberry juice as a purple dye for their cloth and baskets.
Today we eat a cultivated blueberry, and on our family farm we grow the Bluecrop variety. We consider them to be the best because they are tasty and full of flavour. Also, they stay firm longer, which is wonderful for picking, and preserving. Bonus: Bluecrop blueberries are also known to be hardy and have very good disease resistance.
Today – and every day we want to celebrate the delicious blueberry!