Jul 7, 2023
Free New Jersey fruit celebrates National Blueberry Month

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) will highlight National Blueberry Month by handing out free blueberries to beachgoers for the third year in a row.

Department staff will be distributing blueberries on the afternoon of July 10 in the shore towns of Wildwood, Atlantic City and Seaside Heights.

Photo courtesy New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

“This has been a very popular event each of the past two years and we anticipate there will be high demand for delicious and plump Jersey Fresh blueberries,” Joe Atchison, NJDA assistant secretary, said in a news release. “Blueberries are one of the highlights of the growing season here in the Garden State and we look forward to being on the boardwalks again.”

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 Rita’s Water Ice in Atlantic City, and along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.

Blueberries were the No. 1 crop in New Jersey in 2022 with a production value of $69 million, according to the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. New Jersey annually ranks in the top seven in the U.S. in the production of blueberries. Farmers in the Garden State harvested 34 million pounds of blueberries on 7,300 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 to 300,000 crates per day. Eating blueberries is beneficial to health as they are low in calories and high in nutrients. Go to FindJerseyFresh.com to see where Jersey Fresh blueberries are available locally and to find recipes.

The cultivated blueberry was first grown in New Jersey in 1916 by Elizabeth Coleman White in Burlington County.

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