Blueberry crop is 'best in years'

PLYMOUTH - While nobody ever seems content with the weather, local blueberry farmers are singing its praises - except for one bad day in June.

As the peak season for the fruit in our area is in full swing, growers nearly everywhere are experiencing ideal conditions and reaping the bounty.

“This year has been exceptional for blueberries all over the country,” said Ed Osowski who is in charge of all produce for Martin’s Supermarkets. “There’s been plenty of rain; good growing conditions. New Jersey growers had a bumper crop and Michigan and Indiana growers are having the same. Along with those conditions come bigger fruit and a better flavor profile.”

That’s a very good thing in more ways than one.

“Consumption of blueberries is up double digits again this year,” he said. “People are discovering the health benefits of blueberries. They really are a super fruit. For all the nutritional value they are inexpensive.”

“This is the most beautiful crop I’ve seen in 20 years,” said Cindy Pertics of Pertics Blueberries in LaPaz. “Unfortunately I was one of the farmers that got hurt in the storm.”

“We’d be really happy this year if it hadn’t been for one day,” added Diane Cole of Pickin’ Patch Blueberries. “June 26 we had a hailstorm that did all kinds of damage. We may have lost 30 percent of our crop in that storm. Even with that, the fruit we’re getting is very very good this year.”

“What we have this year is really good,” echoed Pertics.

According to the farmers it’s the abundance of rain that’s good for blueberries.

Pickin’ Patch can be reached at 800-567-8264. Pertics is 574-784-3331.

(The complete story on the Marshall County blueberry crop is available in the July 25 print and e-edition of the Pilot News.)