Pick Blueberries Day is celebrated on July 10 every year and it’s the perfect time for this activity as the day falls in the summer. Blueberries are extremely popular berries in the United States and they are known to be rich in antioxidants. Raw blueberries also have the most flavor and great benefits. These factors are reason enough to get out of the house and go blueberry picking!
History of Pick Blueberries Day
Pick Blueberries Day is celebrated annually in July, a peak summer month that is ideal for harvesting these juicy and mouthwatering berries. This day is part of National Blueberry Month, which was founded by the National American Blueberry Council and has officially been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture since 2003.
There are two distinct types of blueberries — lowbush blueberries or wild blueberries and highbush blueberries. The former can be identified as small and pea-sized berries that grow on low-level bushes. The latter are larger berries that grow on taller cultivated bushes. People can easily pick blueberries from semi-wild or wild bushes.
Highbush blueberries were quite popular in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands in the 1930s when they were introduced there. After that, they have spread to other regions in the European continent and are widely enjoyed.
The most commonly cultivated species of this berry in North America is the northern highbush blueberry. Canada is a leading producer of lowbush blueberries while the United States produces approximately 40% of the world’s supply of highbush blueberries. Some of the popular regions where highbush blueberries are produced are British Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington, among others.
Initially only used by Native Americans, blueberries are now used for many things, as a topping in several dishes or eaten as a plain healthy snack. Their overall health benefits are reason enough to have a day dedicated to picking blueberries.
Pick Blueberries Day timeline
Native Americans eat blueberries that are found in the wild.
Elizabeth Coleman White's observations and Dr. Frederick V. Coville's research allow the domestication of wild blueberries.
The highbush varieties of blueberries are introduced to Europe.
The United States harvests a whopping 564.4 million pounds of wild and cultivated blueberries.
Pick Blueberries Day FAQs
What time of year do you pick blueberries?
Blueberries can be picked between the months of June and August. However, ensure you do not pick them as soon as they turn blue as it’s ideal to wait it out for a few days. Blueberries will fall right off into your hand with just one touch when they are ready to be harvested.
Should fresh-picked blueberries be refrigerated?
Blueberries are delicate and perishable and hence it is advised to store them in the fridge and only wash them right before eating. This will prevent them from becoming mushy and breaking down.
How do you keep blueberries fresh longer?
Just give them a quick bath in a vinegar and water solution the moment you get them home, dry them, and place them in a clean container lined with paper towels. The vinegar helps to kill any mold that could cause them to spoil, and this method can make them last as long as 10 days in our house!
How To Celebrate Pick Blueberries Day
Go blueberry picking
Blueberry picking is a super fun summer activity that you can be enjoyed from June to mid-August. Make sure you follow the guidelines for picking blueberries. They should ideally fall off easily without having to tug on them.
Plant blueberries in your garden
Blueberries can be grown in your very own garden. Use this day to plant blueberries and see them grow. Choose a sunny yet sheltered spot that is not exposed to wind. Plant them away from trees as they may block the sunlight and moisture required for the blueberry plant to grow.
Make a blueberry dessert
Whip up a tasty dessert on Pick Blueberries Day. It can range from a sweet salad, or blueberry smoothie, blueberry compote yogurt, a blueberry cheesecake, or a pie.
5 Fun Facts About Blueberries
Usage by Native Americans
Native Americans used blueberries to treat persistent coughs and to enhance their eyesight.
Native Americans referred to them as ‘star berries’ since the blossom end has five points that resemble a star.
Blueberries are naturally blue owing to the pigment called anthocyanin that gives them their distinctive color.
There are approximately 30 different species of blueberries growing in various regions.
Blueberries have been consumed by people for over 13,000 years.
Why We Love Pick Blueberries Day
Blueberries have optimum health benefits
Blueberries are a superfood for a reason as they are packed with several health benefits. They have antioxidants that can help improve memory. They’re an excellent source of energy, owing to their low glycemic index keeping your blood sugar relatively stable. Blueberries also contain phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory and help in alleviating water retention. They even help in muscle repair after an intense workout. How can one not celebrate a day dedicated to picking blueberries?
Blueberry picking is a fun activity
Blueberry picking is a fun activity enjoyed by families in the summer. It’s fun, it’s easy, and the fruits of your labor are genuinely delicious! Be sure to add blueberry picking to your list of fun activities to do.
Blueberries are versatile
Blueberries are so versatile. They can be eaten fresh or frozen or can be added to any salad or dessert to enhance the whole flavor profile. Blueberries are one of the easiest superfoods to serve.
Pick Blueberries Day dates