The organic Maine wild blueberries from Burke Hill Farm are finally in! But maybe only for this week. Maine wild blueberries are the best kind of blueberries and one of the true highlights of summer in New England. They’re not like the ones you find at the supermarket. They’re smaller and have an intense flavor. They’re amazing and great for baking, making smoothies or sprinkling on your breakfast cereal.
If you’ve been waiting for your blueberries, we don’t have to tell you that this has been a tough year. We’ve worked with Ben Perrin at Burke Hill Farm in Cherryfield, Maine for over a decade and this season has been one of the most challenging they’ve ever experienced. Although it is hard to explain exactly why the bushes are not producing as they normally do, many point to the drought like conditions over the past few years. The stress on the bushes may have finally taken their toll. There was also a noticeable lack of bees to pollinate the blueberry bushes in the spring.
In even the best of circumstances, there is a very small and unpredictable window of availability for Maine wild blueberries. The season typically lasts about 3-5 weeks. Even without the drought, their availability is questionable. Ironically, if it rains too much, you have to wait a day or two before they can be harvested. That may not seem like much time, but with such a small window, every day counts. So, too much rain and not enough rain can be problematic.
Because of that small window, we try our best to give customers every chance to get these beauties in five-pound boxes. Plus, the larger the order Boston Organics can commit to in advance, the more we are able to support Ben, his family, and his operations (which helps to ensure we get blueberries again for next year!).
This season, we emailed customers a few weeks ago after getting the word from Ben that the time had arrived. Unfortunately, we’ve had to wait a few weeks, but we are excited to be finally receiving our first and maybe only shot of them.
This time of year a majority of the produce that’s in our boxes comes from local independent farms, and a certain amount of uncertainty is inevitable when you’re sourcing from small farms, because small farms deal with big uncertainties. Crops fail. Droughts happen. Tractors break down. The occasional delayed shipment is the price you pay for getting the freshest, most local organic produce possible.
Wild blueberries are a tough business. They’re unreliable, but they’re undeniably special. If you ordered a five-pound box or are thinking of ordering one, we appreciate your patience. Ben and his team at Burke Hill Farm appreciate your support.
Collectively, through your support, the dedication of our staff at Boston Organics, and the hard work in the fields by Ben and his team, we are all contributing to creating a healthy food system. Thank you and enjoy your blueberries!