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Wild for Blueberries
In far-flung fields and barrens, Maine’s official state fruit sits ripening in the sun, awaiting the rake.
The wild blueberry, sometimes called the low-bush blueberry, is native to Maine and thrives in its glacier-churned soil and challenging seasons. These hardy little berries are generally smaller than their high-bush cousins and, say their advocates, are juicier and more flavorful as well. Among the wild blueberry’s benefits for health and nutrition are that they’re packed with natural anti-oxidants. Maine is the United States’ largest producer of wild blueberries. Every year, beginning in late July and early August, crews head to the fields and barrens to carefully rake ‘em up.
To get your share, check out the bakeries and cafes that bake Maine’s official state dessert, the Maine wild-blueberry pie (yum!).
True fans travel to Machias in DownEast Maine every summer for the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival which features dessert competitions, pie-eating contests and a wild-blueberry musical (you read that right).
Most of Maine’s wild-blueberry harvesting is done by large, commercial operations such as Wyman’s of Maine. But there are a few farms that’ll let you swing a rake and pick your own. The season generally runs from late July into August and early September. Check out: