National Blueberry Month is celebrated annually in July. You will want these blues, just like almost everyone in America does. We can’t wait to pop a few little nuggets of sweetness into our mouths.
History of National Blueberry Month
Blueberries have been consumed for a very long time — more than 13,000 years, according to some reports — but the Native Americans were the first to recognize the versatility of this fruit. They used blueberries for medicinal purposes and as a natural flavoring agent.
The Native Americans were using wild blueberries, which have been around for an incredibly long time, but the ones we eat are different. The blueberries we get in the supermarket are the result of one person’s long commitment to cultivating blueberries. Elizabeth White, the daughter of cranberry farmers in New Jersey, wanted to expand her family’s business with other crops, particularly blueberries. While studying at Drexel University in Philadelphia, her main interest centered around figuring out how to grow the best blueberries. She eventually partnered with botanist Frederick Coville to cultivate blueberries at her farm. Before these efforts, blueberries could not be grown on any farm — the only way to have them fresh was to pick them in the wild. Now, blueberries are available in 35 U.S. states and some other regions around the world. British Columbia is the largest blueberry growing region in the world, with Canada coming in third behind the U.S. and Chile.
For many years, the National American Blueberry Council wanted to have July as National Blueberry Month. Eventually, the United States Department of Agriculture officially recognized this month, and it has been celebrated ever since.
National Blueberry Month timeline
After harvesting cranberries, Elizabeth White decides to experiment with blueberries on her family farm.
Elizabeth White and USDA botanist Frederick Coville become partners after she reads his publication, ‘Experiments in Blueberries’ — they work together on her family farm.
Elizabeth White and Frederick Coville successfully grow blueberries on her farm.
Elizabeth White and Frederick Coville's team harvests and sells its first commercial crop of blueberries.
Highbush varieties of this fruit are introduced in Europe.
New Jersey awards Elizabeth White for her outstanding contributions to agriculture.
Blueberry cultivation spreads around America, appearing in 13 U.S. states.
The United States Department of Agriculture officially declares July as National Blueberry Month.
The American Heart Association launches the Heart-Check Food Certification Program to help shoppers identify heart-healthy foods — blueberries are certified as one such food.
Smartphones around the world are introduced to the blueberry emoji.
National Blueberry Month FAQs
Is there a national blueberry day?
National Blueberry Day is celebrated on July 8 each year. This day helps spread awareness about this amazing fruit.
Why is July National Blueberry Month?
July is the best time to harvest blueberries and is the peak season for this fruit, which is why it is the perfect time to celebrate National Blueberry Month in July.
What season do blueberries grow in?
In North America, the blueberry season is from April to September. After this, the blueberries imported from South America are sold in markets from October to March.
How To Celebrate National Blueberry Month
Make a blueberry recipe
Blueberries make good snacks on their own or enhance meals. Make a sweet and savory chicken dish like blueberry-dijon chicken, sprinkle blueberries onto a salad, add them to grilled sandwiches, or make a compote to eat with your meals. Turn each day into a special blueberry festival in your home with brand-new recipes and experiments with these little berries.
Grow your own blueberries
While you can always purchase some fresh blueberries at the store, why not go ahead and plant a blueberry plant in your own backyard? Check with your local gardening stores, pick a variety of your choosing, and grow your own fruit plant. You can put them in your garden or on your patio, but make sure you have adequate sunlight and no trees around your blueberry bushes.
Visit a local blueberry farm
If you live near a local blueberry farm, check if they allow visits for blueberry picking. Grab your family and friends, grab a bucket, and enjoy the freshest blueberries possible.
5 Fun Facts About Blueberries
Blueberries were called star-fruits
The five-pointed star shape that is formed at the end of the berry inspired the name 'star-fruit' by the North American indigenous peoples.
The bluer the better
The deeper the color of the blueberry, the richer it is in antioxidants, vitamins, and other healthy minerals.
Only wash them right before eating
The silver sheen (or bloom) on the skin of this fruit serves to protect the skin.
The only blue food
A pigment called anthocyanin gives it the blue color, which makes this fruit one of the only ones that are naturally blue.
Blueberries reduce the risk of cancer
The pigment that colors the fruit — anthocyanin — also attacks cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
Why We Love National Blueberry Month
We feel very strongly about the blueberry
Blueberries are the one food with the highest antioxidant than any other, which are proven to improve the immune system and prevent infections in the body. These little blue drops of goodness are also great for weight loss; they have fewer than 100 calories in a cup! Yet more research proves blueberries also help fight memory loss. With so many health benefits to its name, is it any wonder we are crazy about these berries?
They are super versatile
There are a thousand different recipes to try with the blueberry — desserts, savories, and drinks alike — that a month won't be enough to celebrate this humble fruit. We love how it manages to retain that lovely color and taste in almost all the recipes we have tried. We particularly love eating them fresh; what about you?
They stay a superfood, always
Fresh blueberries can be stored for up to 10 days in the refrigerator, and they still taste just as fresh. Even the frozen version of this fruit retains all of its antioxidant properties — and there are a lot of antioxidants contained in one little berry — they rank number one in comparison to 40 other fruits and vegetables.
National Blueberry Month dates