Blueberries aren’t just a super food. The wide variety of blueberries cover the whole spectrum of sizes and shades of blue. The bushes are popular in gardens for both the beauty of a blueberry hedge and the delicious reward of the fruit. In fact, blueberries are so good that in some areas, the tourism industry revolves around the wild native plants. Let’s face it. Blueberries just make life better.
I was really excited to write this blueberry page because it is one of the only niches that connects all of our major categories: Food, Travel, and Gardening. I will give an overview of blueberries on this page with links to very high quality content and more information. This is your new blueberry hub.
Gardening | Blueberry Bush Care
Blueberry bushes are very hardy plants. With a little bit of care, the right climate, and watering, they will produce a tasty harvest for years to come. Visit our Blueberry Bushes page for everything you need to know about blueberry bush care. This page is a primer to get you started on growing your own blueberry garden. It will cover everything you need to know including buying plants, site selection, plant spacing, how to properly plant a bush, mulch requirements, pruning, fertilizing, and finally harvesting.
If you are ready to grow your own, you may just want to dive into our series on growing blueberry bushes! These links lead you to the series:
- Series page with all of the articles
- Introduction to blueberry bush care
- Blueberry garden planning
- Where to buy a blueberry bush
- Site Selection and Soil Preparation
- We are adding more as we write them through the 2016 season.
Food | Blueberry Recipes
One of my favorite foods is the blueberry. As a food photographer, they add a nice splash of blue to many dishes. But, they are also a very popular ingredient too. The most popular blueberry recipes combine to hundreds of thousands of searches per month. Why? Because they are beautiful to look at, their unique taste is sweet and their nutritional value is amazing. It really is just a super food!
Blueberry Food Basics
Blueberries are a fresh summer produce that can be found locally almost everywhere in the country. It is one of the healthiest foods and with huge nutritional value and health benefits. With proper cultivation, blueberries are in season most of the year from the grocery store, or you can grow blueberry bushes and eat them fresh off the plant most of the summer.
Select blueberries that are firm and have a dark blue color to them. They will often have a white or shiny coating on them that will show your fingerprint if touched. This is normal and a sign of a healthy berry. Store bought blueberries can be stored in a refrigerator for a week or so. But, I have kept wild blueberries for much longer. This summer, I forgot about a bowl of hand picked Northern Minnesota blueberries for six weeks hiding behind my eggs in the fridge. To my surprise, 3/4 of them were still fine. When you are ready to eat them, simply rinse in cold water and let dry.
We have a whole page dedicated to blueberry recipes here. The most popular recipes for blueberries are Blueberry Muffins, Pie, Cobbler, Pancakes, Crisp, and Blueberry Scones. Make sure to check out hand-selected and tested blueberry recipes on our site.
But, don’t be frustrated that all of the recipes are desserts or carb-filled breakfasts! There are a lot of ways to enjoy blueberries. I like to eat them by the hand full fresh off of the bush and on top of salads. They taste great and they are a top superfood. Check out this infographic by The Blueberry Council:
Travel | Blueberries are Inspiring Tourism
Wild Berry Picking in Northern Minnesota
One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to pick wild blueberries at our summer home in Northern Minnesota. Throughout July we could always find some ripe berries. It was a family tradition and a rite of passage to be able to bring back enough for a blueberry pie.
Different states have different types of blueberry bushes. In Minnesota, we have very small wild bushes with relatively small berries as well. If you travel to other areas like Michigan, you may find much larger bushes. Some reaching over your head.
Regardless of where you are, early in the season, you will want to look at hills, rocky bluffs facing south, and near open areas like lakes. These are the first areas for the blueberries to ripen. As the season grows older, the berries lower on hills and in denser forest will ripen. This creates a season that lasts over a 4 to 6 week period.
If you want to try this out for yourself, check out our Minnesota travel section, or get last minute deals at our Minnesota page here.
Blueberry Arts Festival in Ely, Minnesota
Each year, the city of Ely, Minnesota hosts the famous Blueberry Arts Festival. It attracts about 40,000 people in a three-day weekend who enjoy art, crafts, and food. This family friendly festival is held in a large park but the whole town seems to participate by offering specials and well sell basically anything with blueberries added.