Welcoming the best of the blues

by | Jun 7, 2010

Strawberry season is quickly coming to an end. However, even though we will no longer wake up and enjoy those juicy red berries in our cereal, there is no reason to feel blue. Why? Because late May and early June mark the beginning of N.C. blueberry season.

With endless edible possibilities ranging from blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes to blueberry ice cream and blueberry cobbler, N.C. blueberries deserve a blue ribbon.

Ranking sixth nationally, North Carolina produced 28.5 million pounds of our favorite blue berry in 2008. Blueberries can be grown statewide, but Bladen, Pender, Sampson, Dublin and Columbus are the top yielding counties.

Delicious blueberry samples from the 2009 Blueberry Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh

Delicious blueberry samples from Blueberry Day 2009 at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh

Along with our favorite desserts, blueberries also offer numerous health benefits. Containing about 80 calories in a cup and plenty of vitamin C, dietary fiber and antioxidants, blueberries are a fresh and nutritious summer treat. Eat them out of the garden for a quick snack or throw them in the freezer for a cool bite.

To celebrate the season, the State Farmers Market in Raleigh will host its annual Blueberry Day on Thursday, June 10. So, tie up your blue suede shoes and come welcome the 2010 blueberry crop. If you can’t get enough blue delight, check out the following celebrations across North Carolina:

June 19 — N.C. Blueberry Festival in Burgaw
June 25 — Blueberry Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax