Followed by Strawberries, blueberries are the second most popular berry in the United States. Production in North America has grown by more 500 million pounds over the last 20 years. It probably helps that the berry is native to North America, with 95% of the world’s commercial crop is grown in the States.
Most Blueberries Come from These 10 States:
- Washington – The highest blueberry producing state, with just over 96 million pounds in 2016.
- Georgia – Not long ago, Georgia only grew about 3,500 acres, but today the state is producing over 20,000 acres.
- Michigan – Most of Michigan’s blueberry crops are located in the southwest side of the state, because of the high-water tables and sandy soils.
- Oregon – The crops have grown significantly in Oregon over the last 15 years, ranking them the 4th in the production of this crop.
- New Jersey – New Jersey might be small, but they grow a ton of blueberries. In 2016, over 56 million pounds of these delicious berries came from the state.
- California – It took a great deal of work for California to be successful in their commercial blueberry farms. It paid off, since they rank 6th on the list with over 53 million pounds in 2016.
- North Carolina – The southeast side of the state is perfect for growing the blue berry, with its “salt and pepper” soil.
- Florida – In the last 20 years, blueberry production has made boom in Florida.
- Mississippi – The state came in 9th with about 8.5 million pounds in 2016.
- New York – There are about 700 acres of blueberries in New York, which yielded over 1.5 million in 2016.
History of the Blueberry
Although blueberries have been around for thousands of years, commercial farming of the fruit is more of a recent practice. Explorers made note of the berries in the wild, calling them star berries due to the star shape on the top. There were once used as a natural food dye as well. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, early American colonists boiled the blueberries with milk to make gray paint. Blueberry milk sounds like a delicious paint.
Blueberries the Superfood
The rise in popularity could be because blueberries are considered a superfood. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and fiber. Anthocyanin, a disease fighting antioxidant that gives blueberries their color, is also found in the small berries.
Adding blueberries to your daily meal plan may help prevent heart disease, improve brain health, and help regulate blood sugar levels.
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