Saturday, August 7, 2010

Where are the Jersey blues hiding?

BlueberriesImage by wallyg via Flickr

I'm not searching for bluefish, which are abundant in New Jersey. Ever heard the saying, The bluefish are running? That means these ferocious fish are lined up and pushing their next meal to shallower water and death.

My search is for the benign Jersey blueberry, cultivated on bushes in the Pine Barrens. The blueberry season is supposed to run until the middle of August, according to a June 15 news release from the state Department of Agriculture, but the firm, sweet berries disappeared from North Jersey markets about 10 days ago.

Blueberries from Michigan (No. 1 grower), Canada, Connecticut and other places are all I've seen in three supermarkets. With no Hackensack Farmers' Market this year, that source is eliminated. I'll have to try another town's market.

On Friday evening, I drove over to Whole Foods Market in Paramus to look over its blueberries. But I wasn't willing to pay $3 a pint for berries from Michigan and Connecticut, despite a friend's recommendation. I paid $1.99 a pint for firm, sweet Jersey blues about 10 days ago at ShopRite in Hackensack. I know Costco in Hackensack has blueberries, but I don't think they are from the Garden State.

The search continues.
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  1. I picked some wonderful blueberries around July 4th at Hillview Farms in Gillette. It could be that the weather's been too hot and the crop came and went quickly this year; it was very hot that day and then we had all those 95+-degree days....

  2. Yes. You might be right about the brutally hot July we had, and its effect on the blueberry crop. All I could find today were Michigan berries for $2.50 a pint.

  3. Victor:
    I gotta wonder if you have something against farmers markets? Please get out of the super and into one of the many farmers market in the area...i'm sure you'll find Jersey Blueberries, Tomatoes, and Cantaloupe for far less than you've been paying at pathmark. More importantly, you'll be supporting the farmers directly.

  4. I have nothing against farmers' markets. Unfortunately, Hackensack's isn't running this year. But the blueberries were done in by the July heat waves, as I noted in a post today. When I lived in Englewood, I was at the farmers' market every Friday.

  5. I'm assuming you have a car or bike? You could check out a market within 4 miles of Hackensack almost everyday other of the week. Victor- show some love to the farmers b4 giving it up to the middlemen (costco/pathmark/etc)...they've got what you want.

    Here's a list of the markets that are up and running in and around Hackensack
    Teaneck: Thursday's 12-6:30
    Haworth: Tuesdays till 6 or 7
    Tenafly: Sundays 10-2
    Ft. Lee: Sunday 8-2
    Hasbrouk Heights: Tuesday 12-6

  6. Thanks. I am planning to visit the Teaneck and Tenafly markets this week. I think you have to balance the distance you go for food and what you pay with the need to support farmers.


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