Find out when the best time for blueberry picking is in your area. Or when to find them local berries at your farmers markets or grocery stores. Read our table for the harvest season in each state. Stay tuned to the end for a delicious blueberry recipe you have to try.
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The term "superfood" has been playing a large role in our vocabulary.
People are looking to eat foods that contain a high level of nutrition in hopes of fighting off diseases like cancer.
One of the foods at the top of that list is fresh blueberries. So it's no surprise that more and more places are growing them.
Typically with most fruits you find in the grocery stores, you only get them from a couple states, maybe including your own. However I am noticing that more and more juicy blueberries from many different states are arriving on my local grocery store shelves. The weather conditions they can grow in is more than other types of fruit.
No other item in the produce department comes from so many different places. I thought I would take a look at these states and talk about when ripe blueberries are in season.
This post will help you know when to buy them or when to go picking blueberry bushes yourself. Or if you have your own blueberry plants when they will be ready to harvest.
Also at the end I will make mention of wild blueberries.
When Are Blueberries Harvested in Each State?
On a nationwide level you can expect the first blueberries to arrive for the year from Florida, followed by other southern states and California. Then Texas makes an appearance before a sizable crop from New Jersey hits the stores. Michigan, Maine, and other northern states round out the year.
Below you will find a table of the average harvest times (each year can be slightly different). Make sure you buy local during your state's season. Or look up an u-pick farm in your area. Message me if you are having trouble finding one in your area. Picking your own blueberries is super satisfying and it's a lot easier on your back then picking strawberries!
|July to Labor Day
|May to late June
|late March to late May
|early May to July
|June to August
|late May to early July
|late May to mid July
|mid June to mid August
|mid May to mid July
|late June to early August
|late July to late September
|August to September
I want share with you a few highlights from the different states that grow blueberries.
We kick of the beginning of blueberry season with the Sunshine State. Florida offers the first blueberry crop of the year to make an appearance on the national level, giving them a huge advantage. The Florida season lasts about 6 to 8 weeks.
I am seeing more and more fruit growers turning to blueberries in Florida as the citrus industry continues to struggle with disease. Noble Citrus out of Winter Haven, Florida known for their Juicy Crunch tangerines are offering blueberries now as well.
Depending on how the crop in Florida looks and how Georgia's crop is, they will replace the Florida grown berries in the stores around early May. Did you know that blueberries are actually Georgia's most lucrative crop? They may be known as the Peach State but more money has made on blueberries than peaches.
In recent years I have found the best deals on blueberries when Georgia ones are in season. You can regularly find large containers of them for a good price. The only time I see it better is when my native state of Michigan has it's season.
🌅 North Carolina
A little while after the Georgia crop you will start seeing North Carolina grown blueberries. In the 1930s it was discovered that parts of North Carolina has the acidic soil that blueberries thrive in, so commercial production began.
Blueberries are native to North Carolina. Hop'n Blueberry Farm (Black Mountain, NC) are raising native North Carolina Mountain blueberries. They are growing a variety called "Columbine" that normally grows at 4500 feet or higher and their altitude is 2700 feet, yet they are doing well. These berries are smaller in size but not on flavor, sweetness, and anti-oxidant levels. I was excited to hear someone trying to grow and preserve the native varieties.
⚜️ Mississippi & Louisiana
Both these states have a crop to offer just after the Georgia crop. The Miss-Lou Blueberry Growers Cooperative out of Franklinton, LA is a joint effort by farms from both states. It was established in 1984.
Keep in mind - There are different varieties of blueberries, they don't all taste the same. So blueberries from the same state can taste vastly different during the season as the growers harvest different varieties.
Most of the California blueberries hit the market in May and June. But some growers are able to get a crop even early such as Family Tree Farms out of Reedley, CA.
💡 Tip - One of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh blueberries is to put them on my bowl of Cheerios in the morning or put them on top of ice cream. I pick the best vanilla bean ice cream I can find, which is often Tillamook. Get the good stuff when it's blueberry season in your area!
Starting in June, Texas grown blueberries hit the market place. The Texas Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches, TX runs in early June and has been going on for over 20 years.
🌊 New Jersey
Around the middle of June, it's time for blueberries from the Garden State of New Jersey. They start to dominate the market place right after North Carolina. When I see Jersey grown in the stores I know that my Michigan berries aren't far behind.
Now onto my home state. I can't wait for blueberry season to begin each July. Michigan leads the nation in the production of high bush variety berries. Blueberries can be found throughout the state, however the southwest corner of the Lower Peninsula is covered with blueberry farms, so the u-pickers have quite a number of options.
One of my favorite varieties of blueberries that are grown in Michigan are called Liberty. I found them on the west side of Michigan called by their variety name at several places. It is not often the variety name is listed when blueberries are for sale, so this tells you they are something special. They are a late-ripening sweet berry with banana undertones.
🌲 Maine & Wild Blueberries
Maine is the leading producer of lowbush blueberries in the United States. Blueberries were all orginally lowbush, the higher bush varieties came along later. While this helped the blueberry industry develop across the United States, the original low bush varieties or wild blueberries are said to have the superior flavor.
One Maine wild blueberry farm is Peace & Plenty Farm. They grow 100% organic wild blueberries in the High Peaks region of western Maine. They rely on native pollinators and are on a three year rotation for cutting their fields.
Maine wild blueberries are frozen and shipped across the country. G.M. Allen & Son Inc is one company that has been in the wild blueberry business for going on 4 generations now. Their blueberries are the ones used by Ann Arbor, Michigan based Zingerman's Bakehouse in their pies and blueberry buckle. If you have never seen wild blueberries before check out a video of their farm and see how these berries are harvested. You will then know why the high bush varieties came on the scene!
Learn more about When Wild Blueberries Are in Season.
🍎 When Other Fruits are in Season
I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a thing or two about fresh blueberry season. Learn more about when your favorite fruits like black raspberries are in season with these posts below:
🥄 Blueberry Syrup Recipe
When blueberries are in season, I love to make syrup with them. Perfect for putting onto pancakes.
I dispense the syrup using the Ergo Spout (play 30 second video below)
The syrup can be made using just blueberries, water, corn starch and sugar. I like to spice it up with ground cardamon and fresh lemon zest. I add the just of the lemon if my blueberries are extra sweet.
- In medium saucepan combined the sugar and ½ cup of the water. Stir to combine.
- Add the blueberries to the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Slowly stir in the corn starch mixed with ¼ cup of water.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until you reach a syrup consistency that you like.
- Remove the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and cardamon if using. Add the lemon juice to taste.
- For a smooth syrup, pour the syrup throw a strainer to remove the skin of the berries.
- Keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks.