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Wild blueberry availability outside of Downeast Maine?

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I'm planning a trip to Coastal Maine during mid-to-late August. As I understand, the 2 to 3 week window from around August 10th or 15th through the end of the month is when wild blueberries are in season - is this correct?

Also, I've heard that wild blueberries only grow in Downeast Maine, especially the areas further up the coast around Machias. Is this true?

If so, is the Downeast/Machias area also the only place where I can find wild blueberries at local farm stands, markets, and restaurants? Or would I still be able to get these Downeast wild blueberries further south at farm stands/markets in the Mid-Maine coast?

The reason I ask is because I'll be driving a long distance up to Maine with some friends and was hoping to visit the Downeast/Machias area for some wild blueberry picking. But because the drive just to get to Maine is quite long for us, my friends do not want to go all the way up to Machias if these wild berries are available further down the coast, even if we can't pick them ourselves.

Unless I can convince my friends otherwise, the farthest north we'll be travelling will be Belfast/Mt. Desert Island. This seems to be on the border of Downeast Maine, and possibly not quite in wild blueberry territory...or am I mistaken? Are there any wild blueberry fields in that part of the state?

If not, can you recommend some farm stands or markets around there that would have the wild berries?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Wild blueberries are not just in Downeast. They are in season now here in Central ME for example and several small farms offer "pick your own" and/or "by the pint" options. You'll also find them at farmers markets/local stands.

    See the Maine Farms and Food website (www.getrealgetmaine.com) for a (partial) list of farms/stands that have blueberries.

    8 Replies
    1. re: HDinCentralME

      Thanks for the info.

      Will wild blueberries be in season in Central Maine through the end of the month? Or does the peak season end earlier than in Downeast Maine?

      Is there any difference in flavor/quality between the wild blueberries from Mid-Maine vs. Downeast Maine?

      Sorry if these are really obvious questions - I really appreciate your insight.

      1. re: freshfigs

        You will hear "Low Bush Blueberries", these are wild varieties.

        1. re: freshfigs

          I'm not an expert on this. I believe the season does vary for different regions but also from year-to-year (based on climate, etc). The season here should be wrapping up soon.

          Is there a difference in flavor/quality by region? I haven't done a test on this but I suspect any difference would be very hard to distinguish.

          1. re: freshfigs

            This year's season has been a week to two early, due to perfect growing conditions (although some of the crop was lost in the spring due to a late frost). I think it unlikely that's you'll find too many "recently picked" berries even Downeast by the time you arrive. In coastal Maine on the way Downeast (Bucksport area) and midcoast, there were roadside stands selling berries when I passed by yesterday, but I suspect they won't be there in a week. Nope, no difference in flavor unless you're a finely honed palette that could distinguish minerals in the varous growing soils ( ;-) ).

            1. re: mainemal

              The wild blueberries in my back yard (near Freeport) have already come and gone. There are blueberry barrens in the Bucksport/Orland area but not sure of any where you can go pick your own. Unfortunately with the early spring you may be out of luck.

              1. re: delong99

                Thanks to everyone for the insight.

                My trip to Maine is two weeks away, so based on what you're saying, it looks pretty likely that I'll miss the wild berries, which is really too bad.

                If so, are there any good markets in the Mid-Maine area - anywhere from Rockland/Camden through Belfast, Bucksport, Ellsworth, or even on one of the islands such as Mt. Desert Island - that will offer wild berries that were picked at the end of the season and then refrigerated/frozen for sale past the end of the season? Or will the only blueberries available in markets and restaurants be the larger, more commercial farmed berries?

                1. re: freshfigs

                  The berries I bought at a roadside stand 10 days ago, just north of Wiscasset, were already "end of season." I adore wild blueberries (which grow in the Berkshires, where I am, too--but a LOT of work to pick) and always pick fresh over frozen. But if you're considering frozen at the farm berries (how would you get them home???) why not just buy Wyman's frozen Maine wild berries at any supermarket. I use them in smoothies and the occasional pie, and they're darn good.

                  1. re: mjoyous

                    Butcher Boy in North Andover had Wild Maine Blueberries on Wednesday morning. They looked wonderful as did the rest of the store. Great spot. We drive down there twice a month from Maine, it's that good!

        2. Went to our secret spot north of Freeport 3 weeks ago to a bounty of wild high bush blueberries. Went again yesterday to find it all but dried up. Lack of rain I am guessing. The Blackberries were in full swing, however, and our buckets full!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Noreaster

            Noreaster - that secret spot anywhere near power lines? I've always suspected a bounty lies there as this time of year you often see cars pulled over. The wild raspberries were bountiful this year and the wild blackberries at my house are amazing!

            1. re: Noreaster

              Too bad about the wild blueberries being done for the season. I won't be in the area until next weekend, and probably won't travel north of the Bucksport - Ellsworth - Hancock area, so I'm guessing that I'm going to miss the wild berries entirely even though I'll be near the border of Downeast Maine.

              Do you think blackberries will still be in season along that part of the coast next weekend, though?

              1. re: freshfigs

                They had two different types of wild blueberries at Whole Foods in Portland yesterday. It's not PYO or side of the road stand, but they looked pretty good!

                Blackberries are on the end of the season in Southern Maine, so you might have luck Downeast, but not sure how widely available they are.