Gov. Mills declares Aug. 7-8 as Maine’s first Wild Blueberry Weekend
With Maine’s blueberry season just around the corner, Gov. Janet Mills declared Aug. 7-8 as Maine’s first annual Wild Blueberry Weekend.
The Governor made the announcement during a celebration at the Blaine House on July 23, where she was joined by a diverse group of wild blueberry growers and processors, Patricia Kontur of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine, and Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The event featured a tasting of a number of wild blueberry-themed products, as well as fresh wild blueberries that are being harvested now. Last year, Maine farmers harvested nearly 60 million pounds of wild blueberries.
“I am proud to declare the first annual Wild Blueberry Weekend in Maine to honor the importance of Maine’s wild blueberries and the hardworking Maine people who grow and bring them to market,” said Mills. “I encourage everyone to visit one of the participating wild blueberry farms or to sample Maine-grown wild blueberry products at the many restaurants, inns, breweries, wineries, ice cream shops, and distilleries selling them during Wild Blueberry Weekend.”
“We want Mainers and visitors alike to experience the authentic, vibrant, and distinctly Maine culture of wild blueberry farming,” said Patricia Kontur, director of programs, The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine. “We’re excited to launch this first ever, Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend today with Gov. Mills, and hope to make it a tradition that Mainers and tourists look forward to each year.”
Wild Blueberry Weekend will feature farm tours and other family-friendly activities at 15 wild blueberry farms located in Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Piscataquis and Washington counties. Additionally, wild blueberry-themed menu items and products will be available throughout the weekend at more than 50 statewide restaurants, inns, breweries, wineries, ice cream shops, and distilleries.
To see the full list of participants, visit www.wildblueberryweekend.com. These include Worcester’s Wild Blueberries and Bissell Brothers Three Rivers, both in Milo.
“Both Mainers and visitors will have the chance to learn that wild blueberries are distinctly different than ordinary blueberries, and have a rich, cultural history,” said Lisa Hanscom owner of Welch Farm in Roque Bluffs and chair of the Wild Blueberry Weekend grower committee. “Wild blueberries are grown and harvested in a way that is truly unique to our Maine coastal landscape.”
Mainers and visitors can plan their family’s weekend itinerary by browsing the Wild Blueberry Weekend map that highlights more than 50 participating statewide restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries and eating establishments planning to highlight wild blueberry-themed menu items descriptions of local farms and businesses, visit www.wildblueberryweekend.com.