Welcome Fresh Blueberry lovers!
The membership of The Florida Blueberry Growers Association is dedicated to one thing and one thing only.We provide the discriminating blueberry consumer with high quality fresh fruit in late March, April and early May. During about half this time we are growing the only fresh blueberries in the world.To produce these lovely fresh spring blueberries we go to a lot of trouble. Did you Know?
Did you know that only Florida grows fresh blueberries from late March through April?
We grow a limited number of blueberry varieties that are specially bred to survive and produce early fruit in Florida’s climate.While these varieties produce great fruit, they are generally not as hardy nor as productive as varieties grown further north that ripen later in the summer. Florida’s climate harbors a lot of critters that like to kill blueberry bushes. We deal with them but we lose a lot more bushes than is typical with later varieties!
While Florida bred varieties might produce 4 or 5 pounds of berries per bush (we wish), more northerly varieties can yield up to 20! Florida growers need 4 to 5 times as many bushes to get the same production.Many of the later maturing varieties are harvested by machine at very low cost but every single berry in Florida’s early crop varieties must be picked by hand (one at a time)!To provide April fresh fruit, Florida’s varieties must bloom in the dead of winter (February). These blooms are highly susceptible to being killed by freezes (yes, we have freezes in Florida, lots of them) and many of our members have lost their entire crops to this cause. All these factors mean that Florida is not competitive in the processed fruit market. You will not find many Florida blueberries in jams, jellies or muffins. You will find them fresh packed in the spring in the best markets. That’s what we do. We work hard at it and we’re proud of it!