No peeling, pitting, slicing or dicing. Blueberries just need a rinse and they’re recipe ready or easy to munch by the handful. July is officially National Blueberry Month, but if you take advantage of the availability of the fruit in season and carefully freeze the little orbs, you can enjoy them all year long.
As kids we picked wild blueberries in the woods around the family cabin in Roscommon, and I’ve been told there are some great patches here in the Naubinway area—not that anyone is willing to share their locations. Most commercial production in Michigan is in the western Lower Peninsula counties of Allegan, Berrien, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren; the season stretches from mid-July through September. Find u-pick farms at the Michigan Agri-Tourism Association online directory.
Here are some fun facts about blueberries, tips and recipes from Michigan Farmers Care:
- There’s a growing appreciation for blueberries; per capita consumption in 1995 was 15.5 oz; by 2011 that increased to 34.9 oz.
- Michigan is the lead grower of cultivated high bush blueberries, producing about 32 percent of the country’s Super Food and worth $101.8 million to the Michigan economy.
- Yes, blueberries are getting attention for goodness sake: they’re a sodium-free, low fat, low calorie source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants
- July 26 Downtown Marquette Blueberry Festival, Marquette Michigan
- July 26-28 Ely Minnesota Blueberry Art Festival
- July 27-28 Iron River Lions Blueberry Festival, Iron River, Wisconsin
- August 2-3 Imlay City Blueberry Festival, Imlay City, Michigan
- August 8-11 50th National Blueberry Festival, South Haven, Michigan
- August 15-18 Lexington Blueberry Festival, Lexington, Ohio
- August 15-18 Montrose Blueberry Festival, Montrose, Michigan
- August 16-18 Wild Blueberry Festival, Paradise, Michigan
- August 30-September 2 Marshall County Blueberry Festival, Plymouth, Indiana
Check out these recipes for my favorite fruit:
All stories and photos copyright Kath Usitalo unless otherwise noted