Heat wave in July, then autumnal August days, but unlike last year’s crazy spring and summer drought, this harvest season has delivered both heat *and* rain. And the produce looks wonderful; especially the blueberries!
Locavorious blueberries came from a few different farms this year, such as Carol’s Blueberry Patch in Palmyra, MI. If you shop the Ann Arbor Farmers Market you would recognize Carol as the only provider of organically grown, “no spray” blueberries and snow cones! At the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, we also purchased blueberries from Mary Wolfe Wolfe Orchards, Tipton MI. We drove out to Paw Paw, Michigan to get Fritz’s Blueberries from Brookside Farm, established in 1876. The Fritz family has been cultivating the blueberries since 1955; with the 5th generation operating the farm today.
“Did-you-knows”: Michigan has approximately 21,000 acres of cultivated blueberries. This summer’s harvest is expected to exceed last summer by 20% leading to harvest of about 104 million pounds of blueberries. Woo hoo!! As one of the few fruits native to North America, blueberries have been enjoyed by native peoples for hundreds of years. In the US, blueberries rank second behind strawberries in terms of fruit consumption.
In the popular health press blueberries have reached a well-deserved rock star status. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. Most recent health research on blueberries focuses on phytonutrient content. Although anthocyanins, the colorful antioxidant pigments get special attention with respect to blueberries, there are numerous blueberry phytonutrients, all antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which lead to the long list of well-documented health benefits we get from regular consumption of blueberries.
Some reasons your body loves blueberries: whole-body antioxidant support, improved cardiovascular functions and blood balance, cognitive benefits and blood sugar regulation. And they taste fantastic. And they will still taste fantastic this winter.
Loving the true and MI blue!