Native to North America, blueberries grow in acidic soils of pH 5.5 or lower. In southern Minnesota, where pH levels tend to be closer to 6.0-7.0, soil amendments of peat and sulfur are highly beneficial to lower pH. Because they have relatively few pest problems, blueberries lend themselves quite well to organic production, given regular weeding and watering.
The foliage provides beautiful fall displays of deep reds, making blueberries as ornamental as they are delicious! You can see our young shrubs at Blue Fruit Farm pictured here turning fiery red. Blueberries also boast numerous health benefits. Most known for their high antioxidant content, blueberries help to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals, helping to combat cancer and prevent signs of aging. They are a good source of vitamins C and E, fiber, and flavonoids, and are very low in fat and sodium.
At Blue Fruit Farm, we grow several varieties of blueberries including Polaris, Northland, Northblue, Bluecrop, Bluegold, Patriot, Superior, Nelson, Elliot, and Elizabeth. This wide range of varieties helps promote adequate pollination, season extension, and crop assurance. We also added additional Blue Ray blueberries in spring of 2014 sourced from MOSA certified Backyard Berries of Indiana. Other varieties were sourced from quite a few nurseries. Our initial plantings were sourced from St. Lawrence Nursery located in upstate New York, Harmann's in Missouri for the Elizabeth varieties, and Blue Grass Nursery in Kentucky for the Elliot plants. We purchase replacement stock primarily through Backyard Berries.
Blueberries are one of the highest ranking foods on the brain food list! Blueberries contain anthocyanin making it a super-antioxidant food. A long-term study done at Harvard on 16,000 women showed that those who ate one or more half cups of blueberries a week stayed sharper than women who did not eat the berries. The study also showed that those who ate blueberries could delay cognitive aging by two and a half years simply by eating this super fruit.
Blueberries are also a wonderful and very tasty source of Vitamin C and K, Magnesium and a great source of natural fiber!
Citation: Shreeves, Robin (2018). Mother Nature Network: 5 nootropic foods to boost brain function.
Sweet and juicy, fresh blueberries taste wonderful when ripe. Fresh berries can be used in salads, cereal, oatmal, smoothies, drinks, atop ice cream or other desserts, or eaten by the handful! Dried berries make en excellent addition to baked goods or granola, and dried skins can be used for tea. Berries can be processed into jams, jellies, juices, and sauces and make a wonderful sauce for meats and desserts. And of course, they also make for a fantastic pie filling.