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Want to know what makes NC Blueberries special?

Blueberries were first planted in NC as a cash crop in 1936, by a farmer from New Jersey, who wanted an extended growing season. In Bladen County, the peak harvest begins in mid May and extends through the first of June.

There are two main types of blueberries; one is the Highbush and the other is the Rabbiteye. The Highbush can withstand more cold weather(called chilling hours), and is the main variety used when berries are shipped fresh, not frozen; the Rabbiteye is harvested later in the season.

Blueberries are planted throughout the NC, but the major commercial production area is the southeastern part of the state. Bladen County is the largest producer of blueberries in NC. Blueberries can’t be commercially grown successfully in other sections of NC because they need an acidic soil, and the type of climate found in southeastern North Carolina. In 2014, the average yield was 6700 pounds per acre, nationally.

Blueberries have been in the news for their anti-oxidant properties, but more news keeps coming about the ‘reversal of brain-aging’ effects of blueberries, as well as their use in stabilizing blood pressure, and fighting Diabetes. Blueberries are truly a super food. A half cup serving provides 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. 

The 12th Annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival will be held this year on Saturday, June 20, 2015 in Historic Downtown Burgaw. Since its inception, the Festival has become a premiere event in Southeastern North Carolina and attracts more than 30,000 people who have come to enjoy some of the area’s finest entertainment, artisans nestled around the courthouse square, antique cars lining the streets, food vendors serving up an array of delicacies and of course the Festival’s main attraction Blueberries! The Festival is a non-profit civic organization and is sponsored in part by the Town of Burgaw. http://www.ncblueberryfestival.com/

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