Atlantic County farm points to start of season
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher highlighted the beginning of blueberry season in the Garden State with a visit to Macrie Brothers Blueberry Farm. Secretary Fisher and state and local officials viewed the packing of Jersey Fresh blueberries to emphasize that locally grown produce and farm products are readily available now at farmers markets and stores around the state.
“The blueberry harvest is one of the major highlights of the New Jersey growing season,” Secretary Fisher said. “We are known around the world for blueberries, and growers like the Macrie Brothers have fostered that well-earned reputation with their dedication and commitment to grow the highest quality fruit each year.”
Blueberries in New Jersey for 2021 had a production value of $78 million. New Jersey annually ranks in the top six in the U.S. in the production of blueberries. Farmers in the Garden State harvested 41 million pounds of blueberries on 7,500 acres last year.
“We are off to an excellent start, and we anticipate it being a good year,” said Paul Macrie, who owns and operates Macrie Brothers Blueberry Farms with his brothers Nick and Mike. “From what we have seen early on, we think we will harvest a good volume with the juicy, larger-sized berries New Jersey is known for. We expect to be in full production mode within the next week or two.”
The Macrie Brothers have been growing blueberries in New Jersey since 1953. What started as a 26-acre farm has now blossomed into an 800-acre operation. The Macrie Brothers are also an active member of the New Jersey Blueberry Industry Advisory Council.
The blueberry season for New Jersey lasts through the end of July, which is National Blueberry Month. During the peak of blueberry season, production can be as high as 250,000-300,000 crates per day. Eating blueberries is beneficial to health as they are known as the “King of Anti-Oxidants.” Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients.