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What’s blue, delicious and a great source of antioxidants? BC-grown blueberries! These tiny berries pack in huge flavour and health benefits, and they make a titanic contribution to BC’s economy too. In honour of BC Blueberry Day on July 15th, we’re sharing some surprising facts about these sweet berries - read on and don’t forget to participate in our Blueberry BFF giveaway (details at the end of this post!).
1. Blueberries have a long history here - they’ve been enjoyed by people in North America for over 13,000 years. Indigenous peoples traditionally enjoyed blueberries in a variety of ways: mixed with honey and cornmeal for blueberry pudding, smoked for winter use, and in a syrup to treat coughs.
2. In fact, blueberries (genus: Vaccinum) are one of the only commercially available fruits that are native to North America (others include cranberries and Concord grapes) -- and blueberries are unique in Canada as the only fruit grown commercially in both their wild and cultivated varieties.
3. Highbush blueberries are the variety cultivated for their sweet and juicy fruit -- and those are the ones you’re likely to find in your grocery store freezer. They ripen early, travel well, and they’re absolutely delicious. Look for ‘BC Grown’ or head directly to the farm to source your fresh or frozen blueberries.
4. There are more than 30,000 hectares (nearly 75,000 acres) of highbush blueberries farmed in B.C. That’s the equivalent of 75 Stanley Parks!
5. A single blueberry bush can produce as many as 6,000 blueberries per year.
6. Blueberries are Canada’s largest and most valuable fresh fruit crop for exporting.
Last year, B.C. blueberry farmers harvested approximately 190 million pounds during the 2019 blueberry season.
7. B.C. is the largest producer of highbush blueberries in Canada and ranks as one of the top 10 blueberry producers in the world. Last year, B.C. blueberry farmers harvested approximately 190 million pounds (86,000 metric tonnes) during the 2019 blueberry season.
8. Blueberries can be bought fresh in BC from July through September, and can be enjoyed in all sorts of dishes - head to our recipes page and search “blueberry” to see all of our updated recipes.
9. 97% of all of BC’s blueberry production is in the region between Richmond and Agassiz - blueberries have been commercially farmed there for over 100 years!
10. The blueberry is one of the only foods that is naturally blue in colour. The pigment that gives blueberries their distinctive colour, anthocyanin, is the same compound that provides the blueberry’s amazing health benefits.
[CONTEST CLOSED] Craving blueberries now? Check out our Blueberry BFF giveaway - it’s easy to enter for a chance to win!
Step 1: Follow us on Instagram.
Step 2: Leave us a comment on our giveaway post tagging someone you want to go blueberry picking with, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win our prize pack! Prize includes a BC Blueberries U-Pick Essentials Pack, a We Heart Local BC tote bag, plus a Visa gift card for $50 so that you and a friend can head to a local farm and purchase your supply of BC blueberries.
Contest closes July 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm.