The New Jersey Department of Agriculture highlighted National Blueberry Day again this year on Friday afternoon, July 8, with special visits to the shore towns of Wildwood, Atlantic City and Seaside Heights. NJDA marketing staff were on hand to distribute free Jersey Fresh blueberries to beachgoers.
“Jersey Fresh fans showed their enthusiasm for blueberries as this was a very popular event last year and we are thrilled to return,” NJDA Secretary Douglas H. Fisher said. “Our farmers produce great tasting, plump blueberries that are a highlight of the growing season here in the Garden State.”
The cultivated blueberry was first grown in New Jersey in 1916 by Elizabeth Coleman White in Burlington County.
Blueberries were the No. 1 crop in New Jersey for 2021 with a production value of $78 million, according to the USDA. New Jersey annually ranks in the top six in the U.S. in the production of blueberries. Farmers in the Garden State harvested 41 million pounds of blueberries on 8,900 acres last year. The National Blueberry Day promotion took place in conjunction with the New Jersey Blueberry Industry Advisory Council.
The blueberry season for New Jersey lasts through the end of July. During the height of blueberry season, production can be as high as 300,000 crates per day. Eating blueberries is beneficial to health as they are low in calories and high in nutrients.
You can find Jersey Fresh blueberries at farmers markets throughout the region (pictured below at the Ocean City Farmers Market, held every Wednesday morning through September).
The recipe presented here can be found at FindJerseyFresh.com along with other great recipes for all Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables.
Blueberry Hill Muffins
20-minute prep time
25-minute cook time
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2 Jersey Fresh eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 to 1½ cups Jersey Fresh blueberries
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla and sour cream. Add sifted dry ingredients and blend. Fold in blueberries. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease and flour tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes; bake mini muffins for 18 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!