Record-breaking Washington blueberry season
Washington blueberry growers are readying for a record-breaking blueberry season this summer. Eastern Washington is well under way picking and shipping to local grocery stores, restaurants, retail shops and across the globe. Western Washington will more than double the state’s yields as it enters production.
The Washington blueberry season started late, like many other crops in 2022. “The unusually long and unusually cool spring pushed the early varieties of Washington blueberries out a few weeks, but we are right in the thick of it now, and the mid- to late season varieties are on track. We are looking at the biggest blueberry harvest our state has ever had. Adding acreage again this year, the 24,000 total acres of Washington blueberries are expected to yield 180 million pounds this season (173 million pounds in 2021). What’s even more impressive is that the flavor of Washington blueberries this year is just phenomenal,” said Alan Schreiber, executive director of Washington Blueberry Commission.
Consumers can find Washington’s plump, juicy blueberries in stores now, with fully stocked grocery stores, roadside stands, farmers markets, and the opening of western Washington’s u-pick farms.
Blueberries are often considered “nature’s treat,” a superfood full of anti-oxidant phytonutrients, vitamin C, manganese and fiber. Washington grows over 85 percent organic blueberries and continues its reign as the No. 1 producer of blueberries in the country, followed by Oregon, Georgia and Michigan. Washington also has one of the longest blueberry seasons in North America, typically running from June through October, and producing 40 percent fresh blueberries and 60 percent frozen blueberries enjoyed year around.
The Washington Blueberry Commission will kick-off its annual Kids’ Recipe Contest Aug. 14-28. Kids 12-18 years old are invited to create their own recipe using Washington blueberries and submit to the WBC for the opportunity to win a flat of Washington blueberries, one of Trophy Cupcakes’ coveted layer cakes and a $100 gift card to use online or at a Trophy Cupcakes location. The sweet treat queen herself, Trophy Cupcakes Owner Jennifer Shea, will judge the online-submitted recipes to select a winner. Previous winners include recipes for Washington Blueberry, Lemon, and Lavender Entremet Cake and Vegan Washington Blueberry Citrus Crepes. Full contest rules and details can be found here.
No prep required, Washington blueberries can be enjoyed by the handful or pureed into smoothies, thrown into morning pancakes, or made into a compote to serve alongside summer fish or meat. Blueberries are incredibly diverse in sweet or savory food and drinks and have countless health benefits to boot. Recipes can be found online.