Hello readers ... and happy warm weather season! Since I am a berry fanatic-strawberries, raspberries, blackberries-I decided to continue our early summer Gardening Gourmet trend with another berry-the blueberry.
As I've mentioned before, I live in New Jersey, The Garden State, and, yes, being The Garden State we do have many wonderful "Jersey Fresh" fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. In addition, I didn't have to look very far for blueberry research, for about a half hour from my home is the city of Hammonton, also known as "The Blueberry Capital of the World." I do know, however, through my research, that there are other cities and towns across the country which also boast such titles, so I will explore not only the various areas that produce blueberries, but the different varieties that correspond as well.
The blueberry plant is actually a native American species used by early settlers as a staple ingredient in their foods and medicines. In the early 1900s Elizabeth White and Dr. Frederick Coville domesticated one variety of blueberry, the wild highbush, to create the plump, juicy, sweet, cultivated blueberry we know today. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer, accounting for almost 90% of world production. Cultivated blueberries, the ones developed by White and Coville, are grown in more than 30 states, as well as across British Columbia and Canada. The North American blueberry harvest begins in mid-April and ends in early October with the peak harvest in July (also known as National Blueberry Month).
When first contemplating growing blueberries in your home garden, consider a few things. First, there are three main …