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[nafex] New Hampshire blueberry bragging rights!

Excerpted from the NH Weekly Market Bulletin...

Date: Wednesday, August 16th.

Story: All Cultivated Blueberries Trace Back to Greenfield, NH

Every pint of cultivated blueberries harvested in the world contains a 
little bit of New Hampshire....
As the blueberry harvest for 2000 progresses, it's worth taking a look
at the history of the domestication of the species, and there's nobody
better to go to than Roger Swain, nationally acclaimed writer on the
horticultural subjects and host of the popular PBS gardening series,
Crockett's Victory Garden.
Today's highbush blueberries trace their origins to an old farm in the
NH town of Greenfield that was purchased in 1905 by a USDA botanist 
named Frederick Vernon Coville to be a summer vacation retreat.
Coville discovered the overgrown pastures on the farm were full of both
highbush and lowbush blueberries which yielded plentiful fruit for his
family to harvest. Swain writes.
"Nobody contemplated growing them commercially until Coville began his
famous experiments, discovering in short order that blueberries needed
a highly acid soil to grow well. If you plant them in ordinary garden
soil, they will yellow and die.
"In the summer of 1908 he selected a wild highbush plant whose fruits 
had a superior size and flavor, which he named "Brooks" after
Fred Brooks, a neighbor on whose land the bush was growing, and a 
lowbush he named "Russell" from Frank Russell's place on the other side
of the road.
"Back in Washington he crossed these two berries. They were in essence
the Adam & Eve of the cultivated blueberry," Swain continues.
"The first hybrid blueberry was named 'Pioneer.' It was introduced
along with two others by the USDA in 1920, and the rest, as they say,
is history."
Today there are more than 150 varieties of commercially grown blue-
berries. In the US more than 50,000 acres are in blueberry plantations,
and the fruit is now grown around the world. Coville's experiments have
generated value estimated at more than a billion dollars.
And those blueberry genetics all trace back to a little hill farm in
New Hampshire.

Thanks to the, NH Weekly Market Bulletin.
Steven H. Taylor Commissioner
NH Dept. of Agriculture-Markets & Food.

Funny most folks thought we only grew apples in NH.... : ]

Best wishes,

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