TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Department of Agriculture will highlight 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 where NJDA marketing staff will be 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.”
Blueberries will be available beginning at 1 p.m. until supplies last, at the end of East Schellenger Avenue at the boardwalk near Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, at the end of New York Avenue on the boardwalk near Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Atlantic City, and along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.
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 is taking 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 250,000-300,000 crates per day. Eating blueberries is beneficial to health as they are low in calories and high in nutrients. Go to www.FindJerseyFresh.com to see where Jersey Fresh blueberries are available locally and to find recipes that include great tasting Jersey Fresh blueberries.
The cultivated blueberry was first grown in New Jersey in 1916 by Elizabeth Coleman White in Burlington County.
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA