Good news for fans of this popular little superfood: blueberries are ripe for picking!
Blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berry consumption in the United States, according to the website www.whfoods.com. The fruit is also repeatedly ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.
On a recent trip to Clermont, I noticed the field at Mark's U-Pick Blueberries on CR561 just north of the city was busy with folks picking blueberries, most of which were likely consumed at Fourth of July picnics. Marisol Vela and her family were picking berries to bake into American Flag cake.
According to the Blueberry Council, blueberries have just 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat. One serving of the little fruit also contains 25 percent of one's daily requirement of Vitamin C.
In most of Central Florida, blueberry season lasts about four weeks. At Mark's, however, the season is 12 weeks long. Owner Mark McCaffrey, who has been growing the fruit for 30 years, said that is because he is able to grow more varieties of the berries, some that typically grow in North Florida. His farm's micro-climate makes for colder temperatures, explains McCaffrey.
The blueberries should be plentiful through mid-July or longer.