This wonderful blue fruit is packed full of an amazing collection of antioxidants and nutrients.
Its fantastic taste aside, the saying 'good things come out of the blue' really does apply to blueberries. Recent research has revealed some quite amazing properties. It appears the blue pigment, anthocyanin, is the major contributor to its high antioxidant levels.
We start harvesting our delicious True Earth™ organic blueberries in mid January going through to April. Each bush has up to 10 picks over the season depending on variety. So they are a very labour intensive crop. Our 2 hectare blueberry block requires around 30 people to harvest, and we have another block coming into production in the next year that will triple our requirement for staff.
Did you know?
Blueberries are nature's antioxidant powerhouse and contain higher antioxidant levels than just about every other fruit and vegetable. Antioxidants prevent cell damage that occurs from everyday wear and tear. It is believed a diet high in antioxidants helps avoid such health problems as cancers and heart disease. It also promotes good eyesight, urinary tract health and brain function. Often referred to as 'brain berries', several leading scientists suggest eating half a cup of blueberries a day to protect and promote brain function.
Try these quick ideas...
- Add organic blue berries to school lunches (and adults lunches too).
- Make a delicious organic blueberry smoothie by blending one cup of milk with one cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen). Add a banana, yoghurt or ice cream if you wish.
- Sprinkle organic blueberries over your breakfast cereal with a spoonful of organic yoghurt.
- Toss organic blueberries through leafy greens or coleslaws for a refreshing lift.
- Organic Blueberries and sliced strawberries make a delicious fruit platter. Dust with icing sugar if you wish.
- Frozen organic blueberries are a healthy, tasty 'lolly' option for kids.
How big does a blueberry bush grow?
This depends on the variety, some can grow to two or three metres, while some are more chest height.
Are blueberries susceptible to frost?
Yes we start frost protecting our organic blueberries in early August to the last frost which can be in November. We use overhead sprinklers. As the water is applied during air temperatures below zero degrees celsius, the water freezes and protects the sensitive plant tissue (leaves and buds). This is an exhausting process with many a sleepless night. However we live in the great Gimblett Gravel wine growing area of Hawkes Bay, so sleep on a frosty night is not much of an option with windmills and helicopters. Anything to save our delicious blueberries and those divine wines!