Delicious and healthy Michigan blueberries are starting to arrive at markets across Michigan and much of the nation. The Mayor of South Haven (home of the National Blueberry Festival, August 11-14), Bob Burr helped local grower Art Thomas kick off the local blueberry harvesting season last week. “It is exciting to be a part of the first pick of the blueberry harvest,“ said Mayor Burr,“many family farms in our area are gearing up for what looks to be a great season.
Mayor Burr was on hand to watch the first round of harvest at the blueberry farm belonging to Art Thomas and his son, Jason. Thomas is a member of Michigan Blueberry Growers Marketing (MBG) cooperative which qualifies his blueberries to be sold under the Naturipe brand. "The ideal growing conditions we’ve experienced earlier this year will produce the sweetest and best tasting blueberries possible," said Thomas, whose farm has been in his family since the early 1900’s. "It makes us proud to know that a rich legacy of farming left by my father and his father is enjoyed across the state, season after season. It is also rewarding to be able to continue that tradition with my son Jason work by my side every day. Nurturing the land, our community and my family by working the land as long as we have, makes this an especially rewarding, but hectic time of the year.”
Frank Bragg, CEO of MBG Marketing and Chairman of the Board for Naturipe Farms added,"Our growers are very optimistic about this season’s harvest, we see a lot of berries on our plants, which is great news because the consumer demand for them is also growing.”
Michigan is the largest blueberry producing state, laying claim to over 106.6 million pounds of the health-boosting berries in 2010. The highbush blueberry is native to Michigan with 30 different varieties grown for fresh and frozen markets. MBG Marketing represents a large portion of the approximately 600 family farms in Michigan that grow fresh blueberries in and around Van Buren County”. The co-op is an owner of Naturipe Farms; a respected leader in the berry industry and responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of MBG’s Michigan blueberries. “Their extensive distribution network ensures that our Michigan grown blueberries reach consumers, near and far, who continue to clamor for these little blue dynamos of great taste and health benefits.” Bragg added.
Considering the successful start of the blueberry harvest and that 50,000 blueberry lovers will soon converge in South Haven for the Annual National Blueberry Festival It’s fair to say that Michigan’s Got the Blues!
About Naturipe Farms, LLC
Naturipe Farms, LLC (NaturipeFarms.com) is a grower-owned, producer and marketer of healthy and great tasting, fresh berries. To ensure year-round availability with a commitment to “locally grown” seasonal produce, the company sources fresh berries from optimal growing areas throughout North and South America via an innovative partnership with MBG Marketing, Hortifrut SA, Naturipe Berry Growers and Munger Farms. We offer a full line of conventional and organic berries, marketed under the Naturipe® brand, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
About The National Blueberry Festival
The 48th Annual National Blueberry Festival will feed and entertain over 50,000 people expected to converge on South Haven August 11-14. During the festival, blueberry fanatics and casual admirers will enjoy the wonder of the sweet, healthy and versatile berry. Attendees can experience almost everything blueberry including a blueberry pancake breakfast, parade, fish boil dinner, art shows, pageants, a craft show, 5k run and much more.