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Wild Blueberry Weekend brings big business to Maine farmers

14 farms around the state participated in the second annual event promoting wild blueberry farms. Farmers said new farmers are needed to keep the industry alive.

HOPE, Maine — Tim Davis at Ridgeberry Farm participated in Wild Blueberry weekend. His farm is one of 14 farms around the state that took part this year,

Davis invited vendors to his farm along with a tractor tour to watch harvesters gather blueberries.

"For me, it's always a Maine tradition... These are the super fruits everyone is seeking when they think about blueberries," Davis said.

He said Wild Blueberry Weekend is good for farmers as not many people think about blueberries when they hear "Maine."

"Unless you were born into it, you don't know what it is... these are particularly Maine... as Mainers, these are our berries," Davis said.

Farmers that spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine said Wild Blueberry Weekend is much needed, as farms have faced hurdles in recent years, such as drought conditions.

"This field, in particular, wasn't too bad... thankfully we were able to get just enough rain... a little bit to make the damage not so horrible," Davis added.

Another challenge is passing the baton on to new farmers.

"Farmers are starting to get out of it because they're getting older and don't have anyone to pass it down to, this Wild Blueberry Weekend is going to help that out so much more... building awareness and building information about this commodity," Davis said.

Just a few miles down the road in Hope, Brodis Blueberries showed off its expansive history.

"It goes back farther than any farm in this area that I know of so it's pretty unique," Ron Howard, a seventh-generation farmer at Brodis, said.

His wife's family, he tells us, got the land grant back in 1799. He agrees the new tradition of Wild Blueberry Weekend will help farmers looking to diversify.

"We make jams and pies and a lot of different things we do to utilize our wild blueberries.... out of the four generations with us right now, none of us want to be the last so we're working hard to keep it viable," Howard said.

Howard's whole family is involved, including his granddaughter, the ninth-generation farmer in the family.

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