British Columbia expects another stellar blueberry season
June 16, 2016
Mother Nature once again blessed British Columbia’s blueberry farmers with another unseasonably warm and sunny winter.  With an even earlier start to the season than 2015, the province’s 800 farmers have been in the fields since early June picking the season’s first berries.

“The harvest started about a week earlier than last year, which was at the time the earliest in recent memory,” said Debbie Etsell, executive director of the B.C. Blueberry Council. “This means that the first of the B.C. blueberry crop is already available in supermarkets, farmers’ markets and produce stores across the province. The 2015 season yielded nearly 77 million kilograms, making it the largest ever and 2016 is expected to be on par, allowing consumers to enjoy berries through until late August.”

Along with being available at supermarkets, produce stores and farmers’ markets, B.C. blueberries can also be hand-picked by consumers at the many “u-pick” farms throughout British Columbia. Lists of blueberry farms offering both “u-pick” options and farm gate sales are included on the council’s website. Thanks to a variety of new partnerships this season, B.C. blueberries will be part of retail promotions across Western Canada with Fresh Street Markets, and summer baking promotions with Overwaitea Food Group and Federated Co-op Ltd, along with annual promotions run with Kin’s Farm Markets and Calgary Co-op This August, the B.C. Blueberry Council is sponsoring a series of three cooking classes at Cook Culture, with each class featuring a blueberry-focused menu.  In addition, the B.C. Blueberry Council will be participating in seven farmer’s markets across the Metro Vancouver region this summer.

The best way to enjoy B.C. blueberries is by the handful but for those who are handy in the kitchen, the website has more than 100 recipes with creative and healthy ideas on how to use the berries - from nutritious breakfasts and traditional baking, through to salads, cocktails and ideas for the grill. Give some of these No Bake Blueberry Cocoa Seed Bites to the kids for a mid-day snack, or impress guests at your summer barbecue with this Blueberry Spinach Lentil Salad.

British Columbia Blueberry Council