It's Peak Time For Blueberries In Oregon
It is peak blueberry season in the Willamette Valley. Oregon is on track to break its harvest record for at least the 10th straight year.
Oregon and Michigan are the two top producers of blueberries. Bryan Ostlund is with the Oregon Blueberry Commission. He says since the discovery of the fruit's health benefits about a decade ago, demand has continued to increase, especially internationally:
Ostlund: "South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, all are big buyers of blueberries. We seem to set records with them every year. And this year it seems like the export market is red hot and rolling."
Ostlund says the domestic market is also growing. Consumption in the U.S. has doubled in the past five years. Production in Oregon should continue to climb. New bushes are being planted every year, and it takes five years for them to bear fruit.
Blueberry season is at the top of its bell curve right now, but there are some new varieties that will ripen into October.