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June's cool unseasonable temperatures means a slower start to blueberry season, but it will still be bountiful, predicts one Delta farmer.
Blueberries are big business for the local economy – approximately $100 million was put into B.C. farmers' pockets, according to last year's numbers from the BC Blueberry Council. The province is also home to the world's largest highbush blueberry-growing region.
Ladner blueberry farm owner Ken Bates – who is also the former vice-chair of the BC Blueberry Council – isn't too concerned for his crops after the recent deluge of rain.
"Blueberries thrive in cool, moist weather," he said. "It actually has been not too bad for them. We had a good two weeks of pollination, before we started getting a little rain in May, which was excellent."
There are 100 million pounds of these tasty, antioxidant-rich spheres gleaned from 3,200 acres of blueberry bushes in Delta.
Bates anticipates that blueberry season will get underway in a couple weeks and last until the end of August.
"The weather is cooperating," said Bates. "[The berries] are turning blue. Sunshine puts the sugar in them."
By the way, Bates' favourite way to enjoy fresh blueberries is to eat them right in the field or mix them with yogurt.
For more information on where to find fresh, local blueberries this summer visit the Council's website at bcblueberry.com.