The Norfolk Blueberry season has arrived! With the world now a much smaller place most of us have probably enjoyed eating fresh blueberries, but how many of you have actually eaten “fresh” blueberries, picked either from your own garden or a farm just down the road? Visit our farm shop this week and blueberry lovers will be in their element!
Blueberries are a very difficult crop to grow commercially due to their strict requirements for a very acidic soil, hence there are very few Blueberry farmers in the UK. However, Norfolk is extremely fortunate to be the home of Norfolk Blueberry Farmer, Peter Knights of Fairgreen Farms in Middleton, West Norfolk. Green Pastures is delighted to include Peter in our network of local growers and we always look forward to the arrival of his farm fresh Norfolk Blueberries in our farm shop every summer.
You may well have tried a blueberry muffin but there are so many other ways to enjoy this wonderful fruit. Why not try adding them to your breakfast cereal, taking a handful for a snack during the day or mixing them with a low-fat yoghurt for a delicious dessert?
Smoothies are another great way to enjoy blueberries and to maximise the health benefits of this “Superfood” fruit. We enjoy ours blended with banana, skimmed milk, a handful of fresh strawberries and spoonful of Norfolk honey to add some extra natural sweetness.
Delicious and healthy, blueberries punch well above their weight in terms of their nutritional content and potential health benefits. They are low in calories and high in anti-oxidants, plus they are a great source of Vitamin K but also contain Vitamin C, fibre and manganese.
You can grow your own blueberries on a small scale at home, which is fortunately much easier than commercial growing and we offer the plants for sale in our plant centre for most of the year. Overcoming the blueberries need for an acid soil is easily managed by growing the plants in pots containing ericaceous (lime free) compost, the plants seem more than happy growing this way and will produce a very worthwhile pick of fruit. We recommend growing 2 or 3 different varieties so they don’t all crop at once and to maximise pollination.