New Jersey blueberry season in full swing

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New Jersey's blueberry season is in full swing. It started June 1st, a week earlier than normal, and production is already peaking. (WPVI)

New Jersey's blueberry season is in full swing. It started June 1st, a week earlier than normal, and production is already peaking.

"The fruit is definitely coming into its own. The fruit looks fabulous, the size is outstanding, the quality is excellent," said Sam Moore, farmer.

At Moore's Meadow Farm in Tabernacle, workers are picking 40 acres, which is roughly 64,000 plants, all by hand.

"When you hand harvest it's a lot gentler on the blueberry and keeps it nice and firm," said Moore.

During peak blueberry season farmers are working long hours.

Once the plump blueberries are picked they are sorted in the production house, where they move along conveyor belts and are checked to remove any stems or green berries.

Then they are loaded into the little plastic cartons you see for sale at the store.

"When the blueberries really come in, we'll do maybe 30 to 40 pallets loaded up a day - it's just crazy," said Joe Boyle, field supervisor.

"It's about a five to six week mad dash to get everything done. You want to get that fruit picked, packed and on the shelves as soon as possible to keep the quality high," said Moore.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says New Jersey is fifth in the nation for blueberry production.

Last year farmers in the Garden State grew over 56 million pounds of blueberries.

11-year-old Sam is the seventh generation of blueberry farmers in the Moore family.

"There are a lot of generations in the family and I just want to keep going on so the business keeps going on," said Sam.

With the crop now coming in, farmers will be busy until every last berry is picked.

Related Topics:
foodfoodfarmingagriculturen.j. newsTabernacle
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