PORTLAND, Maine — The second annual Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend is set to kick off this weekend with various farms participating across the state.
The event is hosted by Wild Blueberries and gives Maine blueberry farmers and others the chance to educate people about one of Maine's most profitable crops. The weekend celebrates wild, low bush blueberries versus the typical cultivated berry found in most grocery stores.
Wild blueberries are said to be sweeter and healthier than cultivated blueberries, according to Patricia Kontur, the director of programs at Wild Blueberries. She and other organizers believe this weekend will be a huge success.
"We all started thinking about Maine Maple Sunday and the other festivals that are celebrating other agricultural products, and a lot of Mainers really don't even realize that wild blueberries are different and that they come from here in Maine," Kontur said. "We have a commercial crop that is the biggest wild blueberry crop and really, we are usually in the top three of blueberry producers in the United States."
"I think that we have come to a point here where everything is coming together for a perfect storm. People are learning about how wonderfully nutritious and healthy blueberries are. COVID meant that people wanted to eat better and they also wanted to get out and connect with ... farmers," Brodis Farm Owner Ron Howard said. "It's all of us coming together and when we first hosted last year, we had 1,000 people show up within the two days and it just goes to show the powerful influence that wild blueberries and getting to know your farmer really has."
"This is a special thing, it's a way of life down here," Lynch Hill Farms Owner Courtney Hammond said. "We've been farming these wild blueberries since the early 1800s and the Native Americans utilized them well before that, so I always take the time to try to get our message out about what we really have here and how special it is."
For more information about Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend and what locations are participating, click here.