Tag Archives: wild blueberries

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 11 — wild blueberries, moose and lobster

These dish towels, about 16 inches by 24 ½ inches, are decorated with the image of one of Maine’s most iconic images, wild blueberries. I received these as a gift from my family years ago. Photo by Keith Michaud

These dish towels, about 16 inches by 24 ½ inches, are decorated with the image of one of Maine’s most iconic images, wild blueberries. I received these as a gift from my family years ago. Photo by Keith Michaud

I have not added an installment of this feature for quite some time. That does not mean that I have run out of Maine stuff in my California apartment; it just means I have been distracted by other things.

But I wanted to add this entry before we moved too far beyond the blueberry season, which probably ended about a month or so ago.

Beginning years ago and over the course of several Christmas seasons, my family sent along to me several aprons, oven mitts, and dish towels printed with reminders of Maine. Several, of course, were printed with the famed Maine wild blueberry.

Blueberries are as much a symbol of Maine as are lobster, moose, L.L. Bean, and Patrick Dempsey. (Yes, Dr. McDreamy grew up in Maine and regularly returns to help raise funds for a cancer center in Central Maine.)

It may still be the case – I’m not sure – but once Maine wild blueberries accounted for very nearly all wild blueberries. And by “all,” I mean the entire world’s annual harvest.

So blueberries are something we Mainers, whether living in our homeland or “from away,” discuss with a certain amount of pride.

Here is a closer look at the image on the dish towels. They look nearly good enough to eat. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here is a closer look at the image on the dish towels. They look nearly good enough to eat. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is one of two oven mitts decorated with wild blueberries that I received from family over the years. There’s a matching mitt … somewhere in my apartment. I’m not exactly sure where it is. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is one of two oven mitts decorated with wild blueberries that I received from family over the years. There’s a matching mitt … somewhere in my apartment. I’m not exactly sure where it is. Photo by Keith Michaud

An apron decorated with wild blueberries also was among the gifts over the years. Photo by Keith Michaud

An apron decorated with wild blueberries also was among the gifts over the years. Photo by Keith Michaud

Today’s photos include the apron, dish towels and an oven mitt on which Maine blueberries are printed. For full disclosure, the dish towels never have been used as dish towels, simply as ornamental accents in my apartment’s kitchen. And the lone – and rather well used – mitt has a mate, but I cannot seem to find it. I know it is here somewhere, but I’m just not sure where.

By the way, I do have two other aprons on which Maine symbols – on one, lobster, and on the other, moose – are printed.

Wild blueberries are not the only iconic Maine images. Moose are big in Maine, not just in size but in state image value. Here’s an apron decorated with the tall antlered creature. Photo by Keith Michaud

Wild blueberries are not the only iconic Maine images. Moose are big in Maine, not just in size but in state image value. Here’s an apron decorated with the tall antlered creature. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the moose apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the moose apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Among the most familiar icons of Maine, of course, is the lobster. And what kind of family would I have if they had not mailed to me an apron decorated with lobster. Photo by Keith Michaud

Among the most familiar icons of Maine, of course, is the lobster. And what kind of family would I have if they had not mailed to me an apron decorated with lobster. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the lobster apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the lobster apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

Bookmark and Share
Advertisements

‘Perfect’ Machias Wild Blueberry Festival draws thousands | Bangor Daily News

MACHIAS, Maine — The sky, the pies, the berries and the banners all shared the same hue. Even some of the faces were looking blue, but only on those who wanted to smear them with a sticky goo as they competed to be the first ones through.

The pie-eating contest, the music and food put thousands of people in a good mood on Saturday as they celebrated a small edible berry at the annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival.

And the combination of sunny weather and pleasant temperatures helped draw people in, according to Ellen Farnsworth, co-chairwoman of the annual event. She said last year’s festival was hot and that in 2008 it was rainy. On Saturday, there were almost no clouds in the sky and outdoor thermometers read approximately 70 degrees.

“This is perfect,” Farnsworth said of the weather.

As usual, the Centre Street Congregational Church was the center of action Saturday, as it is for the festival every year. The church sponsors and organizes the festival, which has been held every August since 1975. The church is where the festival play is staged, where the blueberry pie-eating contest is held and where many of the musical acts perform.

Click for the rest of the story by Bill Trotter in the Bangor Daily News.

More information is available at www.machiasblueberry.com.

Maine’s ‘superfruit’ — blueberries — making strides in frozen food market | Bangor Daily News

 

JONESPORT, Maine — This year’s wild blueberry harvest has begun and as sweet and wonderful as the little round berries taste fresh from the fields, producers are banking on capturing the frozen fruit market.

Till explained that because the berries do not get mushy or lose their flavor or healthful benefits, they have an edge over cultivated berries when frozen.

Of last year’s 88 million pounds of wild blueberries, only 600,000 pounds were sold fresh.

The remaining 87.4 million pounds were processed: sold as ingredients in muffins, ice cream and other foods.

But a new marketing campaign launched a year ago is reaping rewards, Sue Till of the Swardlick Marketing Group told more than 100 wild blueberry producers gathered this week at Blueberry Hill in Jonesboro, the University of Maine’s blueberry experimental farm.

Rather than attempt to capture the fresh market — which is already in the hands of cultivated blueberry producers in Michigan, California, New Jersey, Oregon, and a handful of other states — Maine’s wild blueberry producers are promoting frozen berries.

Click on the link for the rest of this story by Sharon Kiley Mack in the Bangor Daily News.