July is National Blueberry Month

It’s hard to beat Michigan in July. Summer is in full swing; we celebrate our nation’s independence; and it’s National Blueberry Month.

Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is a significant part of the state’s economy, yet blueberries are sometimes overshadowed by the more talked-about crops grown here.

However, don’t be fooled: blueberry production and export plays a vital role in our economy.

According to the Michigan State University Extension, Michigan blueberry growers typically produce more than 100 million pounds of 30 different blueberry varieties across more than 21,000 acres of Michigan farmland — each year!

Six hundred family farms grow, harvest, pack and process the berries — contributing more than $122 million to our state’s economy.

More than half of the harvest is packed and shipped fresh to market, while the remainder is frozen, puréed, concentrated or canned. In addition to being delicious, blueberries are also healthy. They possess some of the highest levels of antioxidants seen in fruit, are packed with key vitamins and are a good source of fiber.

National Blueberry Month helps to kick-off the blueberry harvest season, which typically runs from July through September.

Help celebrate and pick up some fresh Michigan-grown blueberries at your favorite farmers market this summer. They are good and good for you!