For more than a decade, California's blueberry farmers have been on a mission. They're growing early-season varieties that fetch higher prices — and satisfy customers in early May, or even late April.
But not this year. The wet, cool spring has forced everyone to wait about seven to 10 days later than usual for their blueberry fix, says Manuel Jimenez, a University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser in Tulare County.
"Normally, by the second week of May, we're going," Jimenez says of the harvest.
Though the harvest arrived late, it's expected to be a record crop. More than 30 million pounds of California blueberries should hit the marketplace this year, says Alex Ott, executive director of the California Blueberry Commission.
That means a lot of blueberries for shoppers, and there are a lot of varieties to try. Because they're now widespread at farmers markets, you can ask different stands which ones they're harvesting. Or, to taste at least 15 varieties at once, head to Saturday's berry tasting at Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens in Woodlake.
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