Georgia blues: The state's blueberry crop



Blueberries have been growing in rural Georgia for decades – literally. They’re the number one fruit produced in the state with a $300.4 million farm gate value (2018).


The soil in Georgia is sandy and acidic, which is ideal for growing blueberries. The short winters give the berries just the right chilling they need, followed by warm springs and summers, allowing for beautiful, blue blueberries enjoyed across the state.

Whether you like blueberry jams, jellies, cobblers, or trifles, you can ensure those little blueberries are making your snack more delicious and nutritious. They’re full of antioxidants, including fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium, among many others.

According to UGA Extension, blueberries are harvested in Georgia from late May through mid-July. They are grown primarily in the southern part of the state, but some are grown in the north Georgia mountains.


In fact, the top blueberry producing counties are:

· Bacon ($65,483,513)

· Appling ($53,058,000)

· Banks ($41,110,160)

· Clinch ($35,250,000)

· Ware ($19,947,920)

· Coffee ($10,702,311)

· Pierce ($8,956,250)

· Atkinson ($8,191,407)

· Brantley ($6,411,600)

· Lanier ($6,090,200)

Blueberries are very versatile, so you can use them in cobblers, parfaits, or pancakes. But, no matter how you eat them, they always taste better when they are Georgia Grown. Keep scrolling to see a Georgia Grown recipe, plus a list of some of our favorite places to find Georgia Grown blueberries.

Blueberry Lemon Icebox Pie

As the days are getting longer and temperatures are heating up, cool off with this Blueberry Lemon Icebox Pie, a recipe from Georgia Grown.

Photo credit: Georgia Grown

Ingredients

· 9-inch graham cracker crust

· 1 ¾ Cups graham cracker crumbs

· 6 Tablespoons butter, melted

· ¼ Cup sugar

· ½ Teaspoon cinnamon

Filling

· 2 Cans sweetened condensed milk

· 1 Teaspoon lemon zest (about 1lemon)

· ¾ Cup fresh lemon juice (about 5lemons)

Topping

· 2 Cups Georgia blueberries

· ¼ Cup blueberry jelly

Directions

Bake the crust

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

3. Bake for 8 minutes.

4. Set aside to cool.

Mix the filling

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

2. The mixture will begin to thicken as you mix. Pour into cooled crust.

3. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Top and cool

1. Distribute blueberries over top of pie.

2. Melt blueberry jelly in microwave.

3. Using a silicone brush, brush blueberries with melted jelly.

4. Chill pie for several hours or overnight.

To view this recipe and others, check out the Georgia Grown website. You can also check out their Georgia Grown Locator to find fresh berries near you!

Georgia's Rural Center Logo

ABAC 12, 2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA  31793 229·391·4847

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
abac crest white.png

© 2020 by Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation   |   Proudly designed by .eloise. design co.     |    Photography by Steve Robinson