Scientific Name: Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus
Common Varieties: Lowbush, Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush. There are hundreds of varieties.
Blueberry cultivars are chosen based on production area temperature and the chilling requirements of different species. Chilling is the accumulated number of hours between 32 ̊ and 45 ̊F necessary for flower buds to develop on a dormant plant.
Blueberries require acidic soil with
an optimal pH of 4.8. Nitrogen and
ammonium sulfate fertilizers are used to increase soil acidity. Preparing a site for planting may take several years. Blueberry bushes are perennials and most growers plant two-year-old bushes sourced from wholesale nurseries
or propagated from their own cuttings. Fall planting is preferred and annual pruning is required.
During spring, bushes produce white blossoms that are pollinated by bees. Each blossom will eventually become one blueberry, first hard and green, then reddish-purple, and finally, blue. Bushes will grow larger berries if they are cross
pollinated with a different variety.
Growers consider soil and water conditions, fertility, and pest pressures to decide economically viable growing practices.
The California harvest typically begins in early May and continues for about eight weeks. Fresh market fruit is generally harvested by hand. This allows selection of ripe fruit with little bruising. Within hours of picking, berries are transported by truck to a packinghouse. Containers of berries are loaded onto conveyors that carry the berries to blowers, which remove leaves, sticks, and
underweight berries. Blueberries for the fresh market are air cleaned to remove debris. All berries are then graded and sorted. Fruit destined for the fresh market are packed in clear plastic clamshells.
There are many you pick farms located in San Joaquin County.
Bearing Acreage: 1,980
Yield Per Acre: 4.24 Tons / Acre
Total Tons: 8,370 Tons
Gross Total Value: $59,118,000
Data Source: San Joaquin County Crop Report, 2020. https://www.sjgov.org/WorkArea//DownloadAsset.aspx?id=33165
Added Value: Essential Food Production, Essential Worker Employment, Education, Research
Blueberry-Blackberry Rustic Tart
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado (washed raw) sugar or coarse sugar
Whipped cream, optional
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and cornmeal; cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-in. circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine berries, sugar, flour and lemon juice; spoon over crust to within 2 in. of edge. Fold crust edge over filling, leaving center uncovered. Brush folded crust with beaten egg; sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake 55-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Using parchment, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool. If desired, serve with whipped cream.