Fresh Oregon-grown blueberries are one of the joys of summer and right now they’re at the peak of perfection. Thanks to Oregon’s skilled and passionate growers, this season will yield another bountiful harvest.
With a reputation for producing the best quality fruit with the highest crop yields, Oregon blueberry growers are having a positive economic impact in our communities. Oregon farms range from large operations that ship their crop world-wide to small family farms offering on-farm sales.
Among the top producing states in the nation for blueberries, Oregon harvested nearly 150 million pounds in 2020, with an annual economic impact generated by growers estimated at $353.5 million.
“The over 320 blueberry growers in Oregon create a powerful financial force,” said Bryan Ostlund of the Oregon Blueberry Commission. “Oregon growers not only produce a world-renowned superfood, but they also stimulate business and contribute greatly to our economy.”
It’s estimated that 3,505 full-time equivalent jobs are created and sustained by growers each year, with $121.8 million in labor income generated by the business activities of growers.
“Oregonians only have to travel to their local store, farmers market, farm stand or U-Pick farm to enjoy,” Ostlund said. “With consumers more discerning about their blueberries, Oregon is well positioned with exceptional fruit size and sweetness.”
Portland area blueberry growers: Bella Organic Farm, (BellaOrganic.com); Lillegaard Blueberries, 503.663.7001; Sauvie Island Farms (SauvieIslandFarms.com); Sue’s Blueberries, 503.760.2025; Tara Farms (TaraFarms.com) all invite people to come out to pick their own berries.
Bella Organic suggests wearing comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, tennis shoes or boots and a hat. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and bottle of water as well.
Blueberries are a convenient and delicious way to energize everyday meals, backyard picnics and grilling recipes. From blueberry cardamom baked oatmeal to roasted salmon with savory blueberry sauce, blueberry and watermelon salad with marinated feta and blueberry skillet cake, OregonBlueberry.com has ideas to incorporate blueberries into any meal of the day.
Oregon blueberries are known for their health benefits. One cup of blueberries contains 80 calories, 25 percent of daily vitamin C, 14 percent daily fiber and essential nutrients to boost the immune system. They are certified as a heart-healthy food by the American Heart Association and contain natural compounds that help the brain stay strong.
Blueberry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups whole milk or milk alternative
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil, cooled
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Optional: maple syrup, honey, whipped cream
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Grease an 8×11 or 9×9 baking dish with 1 Tbsp butter.
3. In a bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, ground cardamom, salt and brown sugar.
4. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and melted butter.
5. Add dry mixture to milk mixture; gently fold in blueberries.
6. Pour the mixture into greased baking dish. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the oatmeal is firm.
7. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
8. Serve with maple syrup, honey or whipped cream if desired.
Photo and recipe from OregonBlueberry.com