Because of the lowbush height and often rocky terrain, many wild blueberry fields cannot be harvested with traditional machinery, and must be hand-harvested. Hand-harvesters use rakes to scoop berries off the bushes, working in an upward motion. These rakes are specifically engineered for wild blueberry harvest.
The harvest typically begins in late July and ends in early September.
Perhaps you’ve never known there was such a thing as a “wild” blueberry. Or maybe you did know, but assumed they were just like the cultivated kind you usually find at your local supermarket.
The official Wild Blueberries organization calls the wild-grown blueberry the “blueberriest blueberry” and the “better blueberry.” According to their website, wild blueberries have 2x the antioxidants of cultivated blueberries, thanks to a higher concentration in the flavonoid anthocyanin.
Once the blueberries are harvested, most suppliers utilize the Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) process, which locks in this nutrition at the optimal stage. Blueberries are frozen within 24 hours of harvest – at the height of nutrient value. Frozen wild blueberries are available year-round for both food manufacturers and consumers.
Before freezing, berries are sorted, washed, and graded for character and size. The USDA has set an A-B-C grading scale based on a variety of physical characteristics like color, texture and any visible defects, with Grade A possessing the most aesthetically appealing characteristics. After they are frozen, the berries are microbiologically tested.
Why do they do it?
Vaccinium angustifolium, commonly known as the Lowbush Blueberry, is a species of blueberry native to eastern and central Canada and the northeastern United States, growing as far south as West Virginia and west to the Great Lakes region, Minnesota and Manitoba !
Vaccinium angustifolium , Berries are very sweet.Delicious fruit is high in antioxidants!
Clusters of white flowers bloom in spring, followed by tasty blue berries in summer. The fruit is a favorite among humans as well as birds, small mammals and box turtles. Lowbush blueberry has lustrous blue-green leaves that turn bronze, scarlet and crimson in fall. It grows well in dry, acidic soil.
How to Grow
Sow seed in a flat, 3â³ box filled with finely ground moist sphagnum moss. Just sprinkle seed evenly over the moss then cover with a very thin moss covering. It is important not to make this covering thick. Keep moss moist but not soaked and place flat in a warm room (60 to 70 degrees F) and cover with a newspaper.
Seed should germinate in about 1 month. Remove the newspaper. The emerging seedlings are very tiny. Once they begin emerging, place flat in a sunny window or greenhouse. Keep seedlings moist and allow them to grow in the moss until 2 to 3 inches tall.
Carefully remove seedlings (especially around the root system). Pot each seedling in 2 inches to 3 inches of peat or plastic pots using a mixture of 1/3 peat, 1/3 sand and 1/3 soil. Water well and keep seedlings in a sunny location. After 2 or 3 weeks fertilize the potted seedlings with a liquid fertilizer such as Start-N-Gro etc. at 1/2 the recommended rate.
After frost danger is past set out seedlings in desired location. Water well all summer. A 10-10-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet can be worked into the soil before planting. The first winter, mulch the seedlings with straw, sawdust or pine needles (about Nov. 1). Remove in the spring when buds swell. At this time 10-10-10 fertilizer can again be added at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet.
Blueberry plants like a lot of water (but not until soil is waterlogged).