Blueberries are considered one of those wonderful superfoods the earth provides us with. They are low in calories but very high in nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K. Blueberries are also great antioxidants, which help maintain good health and prevent some diseases. Research shows that blueberries contain one of the highest antioxidant capacity of all consumed fruits and vegetables.
Our Farm Cycle
At MAM Blueberry Farm, we work all year round even tough the harvest season only lasts a few months. As cold weather approaches, blueberry bushes become dormant for the winter. They shut down their life processes during the cold months, and can survive temperatures as low as minus-10 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the time when we usually prune our plants.
When weather warms again, the roots revive and begin to provide sugar for later growth. Blueberry bushes can live for up to 30 to 50 years.
In late spring blueberry plants put out clusters of six to 12 small white flowers. These flowers open starting at the base of the bud. Blueberries cannot pollinate themselves, and require bees to fertilize their flowers. At MAM Blueberry Farm we “hire” approximately 300 honeybee hives (equivalent to over 7,000,000 bees) to visit our blueberry flowers and transfer pollen from the anthers to the stigma, allowing the adult bush to fruit and reproduce.
Harvest season at MAM Blueberry Farm usually begins in July and it runs until the end of August. Depending on the variety we hand pick the berries. We typically have about 80 experienced workers picking the fruit during harvest season and they can pick approximately 32,000 pounds of berries a day! We also use a harvester machine, which allows us to pick more berries at a faster rate. Watch the video above to see the harvester in full power.
To learn more about our approach to protecting the land, the environment and our workers, visit the About Us section.
MAM Blueberry Farm grows the following varieties of blueberries for the consumption of fresh berries:
Duke: It is an outstanding early season variety that has become the leading northern variety. It is an upright and open bush with vigorous cane production. The fruit is large, light blue and firm with small scar. Duke is a heavy producer of exceptional quality fruit which is evenly sized throughout the harvest.
Bluecrop: It is a midseason variety with a vigorous, upright bush that is constantly productive. Bluecrop is the most widely grown variety in the world, easy to grow with very few problems. The fruit is large, light blue, small scar and firm with good mild flavour, but tart and half red if picked too early.
There is no doubt that the best way to consume berries is fresh, when in season (typically from July to the end of September or early October depending on the variety). However, there is also the possibility of freezing the berries when they are fresh and having them available all year round to add some easy and healthy nutrients to your breakfast, smoothies, cakes and breads or just as a snack.
For the processed (frozen market), we grow this variety:
Hardiblue: It is a midseason variety with heavy crops of medium sized, dark blue fruit. This variety is harvested during the summer season at its pick and then frozen in large plastic trays inside industrial freezers. Mari-Ad-Mare also sells frozen blueberries that can be enjoyed all year around.
Selecting and storing your blueberries
To select: Choose berries with a firm, plump appearance and a soft, hazy ‘bloom’ (the white, natural coating). Don’t buy fruit that is withered or seems excessively soft.
To store: Blueberries should be stored in a cool, dry place and ideally eaten within a few days of purchase. They will last well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days – but don’t wash before refrigerating as this removes the protective ‘bloom’. Simply rinse your blueberries immediately before eating.
Interested in buying good quality blueberries this summer? Please, order here.