Articles, Blog

BLUEBERRY | How Does it Grow?

November 2, 2019


If I could nominate one fruit to be the national fruit of the United States, it would be – the blueberry. Sorry, Apple…Americans, we fiercely guard our independence, we cherish our freedom; we’re even known to be a bit wild…Let’s go with that. Because that, my friends, is
also the spirit of the blueberry. Even though it’s native to North America – even though it’s been growing here for thousands of years – it remains totally untamed until very recently. You know, my grandmother never even saw a blueberry as a young woman, and she ran a fruit stand in Brooklyn! It wasn’t until the early 1940s that farmed blueberries really took off nationwide. Before that, if you wanted blueberries, you had to find and pick them in the wild…So why was it so hard to farm the blueberry? To understand that, we have to find out: Blueberries – How Does It Grow? Our investigation starts in the storied Pine Barrens of New Jersey, whose official state fruit is the blueberry! This is Whitesbog Village, the birthplace of the global blueberry business. Today, it’s a National Historic Site, and home to a big annual blueberry festival. A century ago, it was the first place anywhere to commercially farm the High-bush Blueberry. Wait, wait, wait, wait, stop the music. We’re not going to whitewash history…To fully appreciate the blueberries’ place in American culture, we have to go back to the huge role it played in the lives of our native people. For them, the blueberry was food; it was medicine; it was a spiritual symbol. In
fact, they called them “star berries”, for their perfect five pointed star at the blossom end. They were a gift from the Great Spirit. From roots to leaves, Indigenous people use every part of the blueberry bush. They brewed a tea for women in childbirth, they boiled the blueberries down into a thick cough syrup. They also dried them – so they could be eaten to the long lean winter months. The waves of European immigrants who came to this country embraced this new fruit, but none of them as deeply at the Native
American peoples. It wasn’t until 1911, that blueberries got serious attention again, this time from the daughter of a cranberry farmer. She lived right here at Whitesbog – then New Jersey’s largest cranberry farm. Elizabeth Coleman White, a heroine in the male-dominated stories of American agriculture. She had the vision to expand her father’s cranberry operation to include blueberries in the summer. And so she invited Frederick Coville, a botanist who had just made a groundbreaking blueberry discovery. Previously, people had dug up wild blueberry bushes, and replanted them in their best soil. They nurtured them like they would any other fruit crop, only to watch them die. Coville figured out a strange but fundamental secret: blueberries demand highly acidic soil – soil that can’t support most other crops. And Jersey’s barren pinelands were perfect for blueberries. They grew wild everywhere. But farming is all about growing a consistent crop, so White and
Coville set out to find the best of the wild blueberries that they could then
cultivate and eventually crossbreed. I should probably note here that there’s not just one kind of blueberry, just like there are many kinds of apples – there are blueberries with different colors, sizes, tastes, and textures. White enlisted locals to search the woods for large berries. She named each plant they choose to cultivate after the person found it. Now to grow a whole field of Rubels, White and Coville used the same cloning technique that’s used today. For that, we’re heading to Atlantic Blueberry Company. Once the world’s largest blueberry farm, it’s still the largest in New Jersey. The US – by the way – is the
worldwide leader in cultivated blueberries. While Canada is tops for wild ones. What’s the difference? Wild berries grow on low bushes found
wild, then fertilized and cared for, like farmed ones. But we’re following the story of the cultivated High Bush, which provides the lion’s share of the world’s
fresh blueberries. The life of a blueberry bush begins in the nursery. Small cuttings from a chosen variety are planted and nurtured, until they’re strong enough to be transferred to the field. A modest harvest can take five years, but a bush bears fruit for up to 50. Blueberries are born in the spring, after the bushes bloom with bell-shaped flowers. You can see that star shape at the tips of their petals. When the
berries emerge, they’re the lightest of green. Then they
deepen into reddish pink, and finally into their famous dusty blue. To extend the season, most farms grow at least three different blueberries – ones that
ripen early, midseason, and late. So if you think your blueberries taste different throughout the summer, you’re right! They are not all the same variety. But there’s an even deeper secret here: the best blueberries, ones with flavor that would knock your socks off, they are not sold in stores. The big farms don’t grow
them – they’re too risky. The berries are too delicate, or the bushes too sensitive. But you might find these tasty ones at Farmers’ Markets. They’re also available in seed catalogs – so you can grow your own. That means you can pop these little powerhouses of Vitamin C and A, plus antioxidants whenever you like. When it’s time to harvest, blueberries don’t make it easy. They don’t all ripen at the same time on the bush, so pickers need to harvest with as much care as they do speed, taking only the ripest of berries. Just to get this thing on is difficult…okay
I’m ready…and it’s a gentle…I’m watching…a gentle roll of the thumb, that
gets these off. Oh…uh oh…see that’s not good… These guys have to have the lightest of
hand. This sort of frosted color of the blueberry is a protective coating – it’s called the “bloom”. And if you touch them too much, they turn really dark like that, which
means that the coating is off, and it means that the shelf-life of these
berries is cut by…two or three days. (Denny): I really don’t call them “pickers”, I call them professional harvesters. There’s this idea that anybody can come out here and they’re going to come up with a…with a great quality berry…It’s not gonna happen! (Nicole): No…you don’t want to see inside my bucket…(Denny): Oh no… (Nicole): No…I know…look at them…look…can I have a sticker? (Denny): Yes…you are gonna have a sticker…we are gonna give you a sticker… (Nicole): Good job…(Denny): Good job…you know… I am NOT getting the hang of
this… At Atlantic, berries sold fresh are harvested by hand, but usually after two pickings, machines do a final sweep, shaking the bushes to release the remaining berries. Since they may suffer a few knocks, they go straight to the freezer to be sold as frozen berries. Meanwhile, hand picked berries hit the
sorting line. A color scanner weeds out under ripe berries – anything that isn’t blue. These may go into juice, purees, even pet food. The berries then drop onto a
pressure plate. Softer, over-ripe berries moves slower than firm one, so they are rejected from the line and often wind up as frozen. Thanks to the pioneering work done right here in New Jersey a century ago, blueberries are now farmed all over the
world, from New Zealand to the Netherlands. And the antioxidant craze has helped global production triple in the last decade alone. It’s a huge accomplishment for a wild little American berry – or maybe it was destiny…After all, the Native Americans believe the blueberry was a divine gift – and so
did one of our most American of authors: “When I see as now in climbing one of our hills, huckleberry and blueberry bushes bent to the ground with fruit, I think of
them as fruits fit to grow on the most Olympian or heaven pointing hills. It does
not occur to you at first that where such thoughts are suggested is Mount
Olympus, and that you who taste these berries are a God. Why in his only royal moment should man abdicate his throne? (Henry David Thoreau) Wait, before you go, I have one small request. We are getting closer and closer to 100,000 subscribers! If all of you just asked one friend – one person to subscribe to this channel, then we would smash through 100,000. And if you’re not subscribed, go ahead and do it – click, click that subscribe…where is it…is it here? And there? Click that subscribe
button, wherever it is! the more subscribers we have on this channel, the more resources we have to make more videos. So go do it! Do it! Let’s get…pick
up your phone pick…text…text a text a friend right now! Text’em…yeah…okay…alright
let’s do this guys! Thank you – high five, high five!

100 Comments

  • Reply joemoneytaker1 May 31, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Alanis Morissette?

  • Reply Pasieka Patoka May 31, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    co tu duzo mowić , fajna dupa z tej laski 😛

  • Reply The good Fellow June 1, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Americans are not wild, they are stupid, wild means natural not aggressive

  • Reply rajgoyal June 2, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Can you do episodes on mulberry, raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry?

  • Reply rajgoyal June 2, 2019 at 5:47 am

    And plz also do an episode on commercial farming of lotus, would love to watch that.

  • Reply rajgoyal June 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Plz do an episode on mangoes, litchi too.

  • Reply Don Petho June 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    She is wasted a minute and 10 seconds of nonsense she could have just got to the point

  • Reply Sold to be Diers June 4, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Firstever wild blueberry patches i'd stumbled upon, was on a military manuever @ Ft. Bragg N.C. back in 1973. Our platoon had passed through batch after batch of them. Foolishly, i'd managed to fill my helmet half full of the ripest ones. Suddenly, we came under ambush fire from an opposing agressor team. After hastily donning my helmet, blueberry juice stains had covered most of my face & neck areas. The stains however, made for a fairly good camoflauge covering for this child's caucasian skin. -former sgt. 82nd abn. 6419

  • Reply -.- June 4, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    came for the melons stayed for the info

  • Reply thomas June 5, 2019 at 6:20 am

    How can big bear enjoy something so tiny and sweet. Bear got a sweet tooth.LOL

  • Reply AmraphelofShinar June 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    That guys hat- IDGAFOS.

  • Reply Sleeping Husky June 11, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Guys, what does blueberries taste like? We don't have any here in the Philippines.

  • Reply PapaKryptoss June 11, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Will you adopt me..

  • Reply Jeremiah Cheatham June 12, 2019 at 1:11 am

    Stop stop we not gonna white wash this shit I said reeeeeeeemiiiiiiiiixxxxxx!!😭😭😭

  • Reply Imam Al-gala June 14, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Sorry ‘Apple’… lol

  • Reply Paul Rivera June 14, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    You are beautiful, fine, and super smart. These are great learning videos.

  • Reply MAILERDAIMON Mime June 16, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Woww….i just want to eat it😻😻😻

  • Reply Blast On Studio June 16, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Wow

  • Reply 小一 June 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    They flower so cute

  • Reply Matt June 17, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Blueberry is the national fruit, yet it only was popular in the 40's.. You don't seem to understand the concept of a national entity..

  • Reply OWAIS ALI WANI June 18, 2019 at 11:00 am

    What is secret of your energy. Ur soo energetic.

  • Reply Jay Kumar June 19, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    her “blurberri” accent

  • Reply Amanda Foreman June 20, 2019 at 3:26 am

    I have two Elizabeth blueberry bushes ! They are very small right now 🙂

  • Reply Mr. Nobody June 21, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Who else think she so beautiful with her eyes

  • Reply Tawfeeq Mohammed June 23, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Good job and thanks

  • Reply Jeffrey Cheng June 24, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    whats wrong with her face… i mean her eyes… why is she squinting so much hahah

  • Reply Justa Sarcasshole June 25, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I quit when she said Blueberry Represent America over the APPLE. She must have a Blueberry Farm of her own and can't sell them quick enough.

  • Reply en iyisi June 27, 2019 at 10:23 am

    hi . I sm from TURKEY. can sen my adress your tree bluebary.

  • Reply shabbir khan June 27, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    This channel is so lovely. The achor is awesome too…

  • Reply rzorNvme June 28, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Whitewash

  • Reply Grandma's Gardening 1 2 3 Saadia Tariq June 29, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Thanks for your informative video but cream on the cake is your bubbly personality.
    May you soon hit a million.

  • Reply Oscar June 30, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Subscribed when you stopped and included Native Americans, good job

  • Reply Tim Feshchenko July 3, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Subscribed! First time on this channel and love it! Now watching all the other videos lol. Super interested and educational! Keep the videos coming! Great job. 👍👌

  • Reply Katrina Claire July 4, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Came here coz of Li Ziqi farming her own fruits

  • Reply Pedro Tetsuji Inoue July 6, 2019 at 12:12 am

    one shot of the host walking dramatically down a row of bushes, you can see that her teeth are a light shade of blue.  Snacking on your work?  8:39

  • Reply Rick Bown July 13, 2019 at 5:30 am

    I love her and what she does to educate us about food and farming. I use to be a farmer and miss it.

  • Reply Lucy Hunt July 14, 2019 at 8:39 am

    They are a gift from the Echad / One that created this planet, but only the organic non-sprayed blueberries.

  • Reply Alfonso Taitano July 16, 2019 at 11:24 am

    l love this video and she is beautyful

  • Reply James Coles July 16, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Ask if sprayed with Round Up weed killer and Pesticides then NOT Wild and should be labeled May Cause Cancer, call and ask if sprayed, Demand Organic

  • Reply paula garcia July 19, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Amazing mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • Reply Dj_jazzy_djent July 20, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I love how no one noticed that dudes hat that is picking them with her. #dgaf

  • Reply Jess Rob July 25, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Is she really not going to talk about pollination at all? Blueberries depend on wild bees!

  • Reply 3ric Car July 28, 2019 at 12:22 am

    New Joerzy huh? I thought the only thing that was in that state were grandmas cannolis and there pasta sauces with the spaghetti.

  • Reply richard regencia July 28, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Are blueberries can thrive in places with warm climates like here in my country Philippines?..Just asking

  • Reply MadMax July 31, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    As soon she said, Americans! I stopped the vid ..

  • Reply froilandsteve August 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    I love berries 😍

  • Reply Mo Gh August 5, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Great content, thanks

  • Reply Ice Karma August 6, 2019 at 3:11 am

    When I moved back to Canada, my native country, in 2002, I was graced with living on a property that had a baker's dozen of high-bush blueberry bushes. The first year I lived there, once they were ripe, my mother and I could pick four, four and a half pounds a night… the next year was much drier, which I didn't realize until it was too late to water the bushes, and I ended up with… three berries. =3

  • Reply Umavathi Uma August 6, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I love blueberry

  • Reply David Ben-Abraham August 8, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Blueberries grow wild in Germany, too. I used to collect them from the forests when I was a child.

  • Reply •Minty Foxx• August 8, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    um, i can find blueberries in my nearest forest

    so baically i have known how they grow for like my whole life

  • Reply Scrap5000 August 8, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    "A gentle roll of the thumb…that gets these off"

    😆😆😆

  • Reply Samantha Navarro August 10, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Blue been. At. Bay. Mi. Plis

  • Reply JB Jang August 11, 2019 at 2:48 am

    I’m never calling blueberries “blueberries” anymore. From now on, they will be call “Starberries”.

  • Reply Cam23 August 12, 2019 at 1:43 am

    I use fish fertilizer… I grew them for the first time this year.. mine taste different from the store

  • Reply Matej matej August 14, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    European blueberries are different they grow in the woods and are smaller but have better taste

  • Reply Carya26 August 22, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    For me, a german arborist, you look a little like an American native. I love your videos!

  • Reply helena wahlstrand August 26, 2019 at 7:39 am

    In sweden the blueberrys look different and grows on the ground not on ”bushes”

  • Reply H.B. Hatecraft August 26, 2019 at 10:42 am

    There's native European Blueberries too. A very famous viking Harold Bluetooth is said to get his name from them. They say he ate so many it stained his teeth.

  • Reply BEAT_YOUR_SHADOW 88 August 27, 2019 at 9:23 am

    i really love u channel.pls make dragon fruit

  • Reply JÖYの貓 August 27, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    My fav fruit! Beside strawberry

  • Reply Sanchita Maharjan August 27, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    I have never seen blueberry in real 😢😢

  • Reply Harley Ramadandy August 28, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Why blueberry is purple? Not blue?

  • Reply David Mecham August 31, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Love me some blueberries!

  • Reply 180MPH In The Wrong Lane August 31, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    do consider this NETFLIX

  • Reply ZalthorAndNoggin September 3, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Wonderful little programme. This narrator is the best I've seen and heard in a very long time; she has a light touch, is really interesting and gets across her facts really well. All round excellence. Thank you.

  • Reply Z J September 4, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits

  • Reply abdul rashid September 4, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    One day i will taste this

  • Reply Galadreana Lopez September 5, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Blueberries arent just american….

  • Reply mohammed nazemuddin Siddiqui September 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Your videos are wonderful and informative thanks

  • Reply Lucy Proffitt September 6, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Is their any on persimmons?

  • Reply rollingthunder September 7, 2019 at 4:29 am

    nothing beats the addicting taste of canadian wild lowbush blueberries

  • Reply Jeremy Ksor September 7, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Spirit give it to native indigenous Americans blue berry they want them to survive when no grocery store there .

  • Reply Belmont79 September 8, 2019 at 1:03 am

    I always thought that blueberries grew and matured inside pancakes. 😋🥞🥞😋

  • Reply Nora Garza September 8, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Starberries!

  • Reply yuni imutz September 8, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    indonesia watch your channel

  • Reply Bo McGillacutty September 10, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Well done. Got my sub. I can't purchase high quality ones but I can grow'em! I love that they don't ripen at the same time, I get a couple months of production off a single bush. I believe that dusty coating is a couple hundred types of yeast, nothing wrong with consuming it.

  • Reply JunJun Camacho September 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Good

  • Reply Mohammed Janealam September 10, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    You beutifull i love you.

  • Reply F _WA September 16, 2019 at 3:54 am

    Nice video ^_^…

  • Reply izhar khan September 16, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Very informative.

  • Reply full blown gaming September 25, 2019 at 2:34 am

    are's are better, sorry

  • Reply onespeed September 28, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Do you need to rinse frozen blueberries, they're rinsed before frozen right?

  • Reply Mark Williams September 28, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Wow…I learned so much….fantastic presentation…thank you…

  • Reply Keiran Roles September 30, 2019 at 12:29 am

    I hate how dr say you need this vitiman in order to boost sales in whatever markets

  • Reply Maryland Dragonfruit Gardens October 3, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I love berries

  • Reply md riajul islam October 5, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Is this Australia?

  • Reply md riajul islam October 5, 2019 at 7:16 am

    You are not american?

  • Reply Lynx Integra October 6, 2019 at 12:45 am

    Fruit and water does not have a "spirit". Only living beings and animals do. Folktales do not make it so. And you do not want to "white wash history", but you are okay with making up offences against God? Hmmmm. And whom do you think created those Blueberries? Yup, God. Praise him.

  • Reply Kassim Khan Khan October 9, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    This is one of the most fascinating and enlightening video that I was fortunate enough to see here on YouTube. I totally agree with the comment form below
    This SHOULD be a t.v. show

  • Reply Tamsen Roberts October 13, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    I love all your old. Family farms you visit!!! Such wonderful family's growing our awesome food!!! We are truly blessed!! Love and respect to all!!! Tamsen Roberts in Riverside California…..

  • Reply Teemu Rinnesalmi October 17, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    The feeling when you are from Finland where blueberries grow in forests and they are smaller and taste better

  • Reply wekulolosounaga losou October 24, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Hello Nicole jolly thank you for your amazing videos I have watched almost all your videos some videos I have twice… You are doing amazing job it's not easy to travel around and shoot videos ..Wishing you GOOD LUCK in the days to come… Your smile is adorable👍👍

  • Reply Marc Victor October 27, 2019 at 1:25 am

    I love you….

  • Reply P. Fernandz October 27, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    I wish to live in this blueberry farm.
    This fruit is packed with antioxidant and vitamins.

  • Reply mss227 rose October 28, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Worked so hard at the blue berry farms to make a couple of bucks. People dont realize how much work the migrants work and get pay so little. The owners made the money but paid so little for the hard workers. It was a time my husband n I will never forget. New Jersey blue berries!

  • Reply Blue eyed Fatboy October 29, 2019 at 7:57 am

    F*** you sexy can I meet you

  • Reply Blue eyed Fatboy October 29, 2019 at 7:58 am

    I bet you have a great sex face

  • Reply Hakuna Matata November 2, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Its all good about berries but you seriously need to grow your melons too miss

  • Reply SIMON ELEAZAR LOMGA November 2, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    I Love It!

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