Growing up, I fondly remember picking and eating wild blueberries growing in our backyard. As a kid, it was a delicious treat that added fun to our summer traditions. As an adult, I still enjoy eating blueberries especially once I learned about the disease-fighting antioxidants contained in this wonderful little blue berry.
In 2009, I was approached to carry a bill to create a California Blueberry Commission and I thought "who doesn't love blueberries?" Well, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger thought my AB606 was a "dumb" idea, saying "I remember when I went into politics, the legislature wanted to create a blueberry commission. Who's gonna say no to a blueberry commission? Well, I said no. I thought they should fix the budget before they do the f*ing blueberry commission. "
What I don't think he realized at that time is that California produces more than 60 million pounds of blueberries every year and it is one of the more than 400 commodities we harvest here. More than one-third of our country's vegetables and two-thirds of our country's fruits and nuts are grown in California.
Other states are aggressively marketing their agricultural commodities. Washington State's Blueberry Commission was established in 1969 and is among the 23 commodity commissions in that state. Georgia has 12 commodity commissions, with their Blueberry Commission established in 2008. And Maine's Blueberry Commission was established in 1971. With these and other states promoting their commodity, it was clear California's farmers needed their own agricultural commission (which, by the way paid is for by farmers) to promote the value of our blueberries.
Well, Governor Schwarzenegger must have learned these facts over the ensuing months because he ended up signing my bill that November and the California Blueberry Commission was established in March 2010.
As we celebrate National Blueberry Popsicle Day on September 2, go out, stay cool, enjoy, and post on social media with #NationalBlueberryPopsicleDay.
If you missed Popsicle Day, don't worry, there are many other days during the year to celebrate the mighty blueberry:
- National Blueberry Pancake Day (Jan 28)
- National Blueberry Popover Day (March 10)
- National Blueberry Pie Day (April 28)
- National Blueberry Cheesecake Day (May 26)
- National Blueberry Muffin Day (July 11)
And finally, to answer the question "does size matter?" Well, when it comes to blueberries...our Blueberry Commodity Commission believes that "naturally sized berries are always best!" Good answer!👍