Maine is known as one of the most healthful states in the country, and perhaps it’s the blueberry, Maine’s official state berry, to thank in large part.
Early settlers cherished blueberries as a staple ingredient in foods and medications. The first cultivated highbush blueberries were transplanted in the wild. Highbush berries are larger, growing on bushes that are 4-8 feet tall, and are relatively simple to choose by hand.
The wild blueberry holds a unique place in Maine’s agricultural history, first being harvested commercially from the 1840s. Both wild and cultivated types are currently thriving industries in the country; Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country, which makes it the single largest producer of blueberries in the USA and the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world.
They flourish in the naturally acid, low-fertility lands; cool, moist sea air; and hard winters; and, since they’re native to Maine, are naturally resistant to a lot of native pests. Several varieties ripen at different times during the summer, and will often remain ripe into early fall. Wild blueberries require minimal control and are sweet and irresistibly delicious.
Today blueberries are one of Maine’s most important agricultural plants, which makes a contribution to the country’s economy to the tune of over $75 million annually. Moreover, because of new understanding about the health and nutritional advantages of blueberries, there’s an increasing demand for both processed and fresh wild blueberries in the U.S. and abroad.
According to Allen’s Wild Maine Blueberries,”For great taste and antioxidant power, there is no better option than a daily dose of wild blueberries. 1 half cup of wild blueberries delivers as much antioxidant power as four servings of additional antioxidant produce. And there is more good news: that the FDA has concluded that frozen fruits and vegetables are only as healthy as fresh and might even keep their nutritional value more.”