The US Department of Agriculture has deemed July as “National Blueberry Month”. The blueberry is native to North America and is grown in 35 out of 50 states. The Native Americans taught the pilgrims to use blueberries in many ways and they also showed them how to use them to benefit their health. Blueberry season is from April through October, but July is the prime blueberry season.
Blueberries are rich in fiber, low in calories, and have Vitamin C and other antioxidants. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, blueberries help prevent urinary tract infections and macular degeneration .The antioxidants in blueberries also helps reduce your chance of getting cancer and heart disease.
There are three main types of blueberry plants commonly grown in the United States.
- Lowbush blueberries- Lowbush berries grow in a lower bush that grows to about a foot and a half. This kind of berry thrives in any cold climate but does poorly in warm climates. If you like small sweet blueberries than this is the right kind for you.
- Highbush blueberries- This type of blueberry is native to eastern northern US. They are the most extensively planted blueberries in the world actually grow in a true bush form. The fruit is a larger size than the lowbush and is a very good quality.
- Rabbiteye blueberries- Rabbiteye blueberries have the largest bush out of all three. If left un-pruned they can grow over 20 feet, which is no surprise then that the berries can be very large depending on the bush. This kind of bush is very heat tolerant which makes it native to Southern United States.
Support National Blueberry Month by purchasing blueberries from local businesses in your area. To put those blueberries to good use, here is a blueberry pie recipe from Martha Stewart. Enjoy!