America’s Best Tasting and Keeping Blueberry Varieties

Introduction

The following are varieties for a season of fresh great tasting and keeping blueberries. This is a listing of some of the best tasting and keeping varieties listed according to ripening time (i.e. Early-Season, Mid-Season, Late Mid-Season, and Late Season) and variety type (i.e. northern and southern varieties). Northern varieties are generally plants for growing zones 3 to 7. Southern varieties are generally for growing zones 5 to 10 depending on the variety. Always select your plant by the growing zone for which it is suited. This list is based on reports from various users and does not claim to be exhaustive and complete. However it does give a good cross-section of good tasting and keeping blueberry varieties.

Best-tasting and keeping Early Season Varieties

Northern Varieties

a) Hannah’s Choice (Early season) this is a sweet blueberry with good flavor. It represents an improvement in sweetness, flavor and firmness over currently grown early varieties. It yields 10 to 12 pounds per bush at maturity. It is the best flavor of all early ripening northern varieties.

b) Patriot is an excellent flavored early variety. Its yield is high, averaging 10 to 15 pounds at maturity. Patriot is adaptable to many diverse soil types and performs better in heavier soil than some other varieties. This plant works well as a container plant. It is self-pollinating having an average height of 3 to 4 feet tall. Patriot’s low growing bush reflects its partial low-bush parentage.

c) Sierra is an outstanding edible hedge with large blueberries having excellent flavor.

Southern varieties

a) O’NEAL will have yields of 10 to 20 pounds at maturity with large size fruit. O’NEAL is the major leading early southern variety. It is one of the very best flavored blueberries of the southern varieties with consistent quality throughout harvest

b) Star was the highest yielding early southern variety in one study.

c) Premier is a rabbit-eye type with early to mid-season ripening Large, light blue, good quality fruit; excellent flavor and it stores very well and is highly productive.

Best-tasting and keeping Mid-Season Varieties

Northern Varieties

a) Blue Gold is a beautiful, compact, rounded bush. It grows only four feet tall but bears large clusters of easy-to-pick berries. It has Very high production of truly superior fruit. Its fruit stores well. In test Blue gold blueberries have maintained good quality for up to five weeks! The beautiful blueberries form large clusters that are easy to pick and are superb for baking.

b) Draper is a recently developed, highly productive, early mid-season variety with outstanding flavored berries that have superior shelf life. The fruit are eaten fresh, frozen or processed into products like jams, and jellies.

c) Jersey is a mid-season medium size plant with sweet berries. The blueberries have a good shelf life

Southern Varieties

a) OLYMPIA BLUEBERRY is said to be the best tasting of all the blueberries

b) Hardy blue is known for its superior flavored, exceptionally sweet berry. Hardy blue is a tried and true variety that is known for heavy crops of berries. The fruit is perfect for pancakes and muffins. Hardy blue is known for being adaptable to many types of soil, including heavier clay soils.

c) Jubilee is a consistent producer of very high quality fruit even in dense soils and very hot summers and sudden winter cold. Its blueberries have good shelf life.. We particularly like the taste of these easy picking, bountiful crops.

d) Georgia Gem is an early to mid-season ripening variety. The fruit has excellent flavor and firmness. It is quite cold hardy, yet tolerant of high temperatures.

e) Tifblue is thought to be one of the best rabbit eyes. It has mid-season ripening. The Tiftblue blueberries are among the most flavorful rabbiteye blueberries. Tifblue is the most cold-hardy of all other rabbiteye blueberries varieties. It is often recommended to be the predominant rabbit eye variety in any planting.

Best-tasting and keeping Late Mid-Season Varieties

Northern varieties

a) Brigitta is a mid-late season variety with large berries, good sweet flavor and tremendous keeping quality in your refrigerator. This makes Brigitta one of the best late season blueberries. In test this variety remained firm with high soluble solids for five to six weeks of storage

b) Nelson – Fruit quality very good. In test Nelson blueberries have maintained good quality for up to five weeks!

Southern Varieties

a) Legacy fruit has a mid to late-season ripening time. This variety has high quality fruit and stores well. It keeps its leaves through the winter in mild climates, offering a very different look for blueberries in the landscape. Its foliage will turn bright orange in colder climates. The fruit of this variety remains firm with high soluble solids for five to six weeks of storage. The variety seems to adapt to most soils and cold to moderate climates. Legacy was rated as one of the best flavored varieties in USDA trials.

b) Premier is a rabbit eye type with early to mid-season ripening. Its blueberries are large, light blue, good quality with excellent flavor and it stores very well. Premier is highly productive.

c) Ozark blue is a late mid-season variety. The quality of fruit is excellent and the shelf life of the fruits is superior. Its flavor is sweet to sub acid, which means high flavor. It can tolerate heat well and its irrigation requirements are not as great as some other blueberry plants. It resists spring frosts and is highly productive producing high quality blueberries. Ozark blue ripens just before the rabbit eyes. Ozark blue is usually listed as a southern variety, but its outstanding performance further north deserves consideration by growers in cooler climates.

d) Sunshine Blue is a semi-dwarf, versatile evergreen blueberry. It yields large crops of delicious blueberries. Sunshine Blue will better tolerate higher pH soils than many other blueberries. It is self-pollinating and is one of the most popular plants for container growing and landscaping. It has a low chilling requirement of 150 hours making it suitable for Southern California, but it is also surprisingly cold-hardy.

Grow your own blueberries

Purchase your own pesticide free plants from a reputable nursery and grow your own healthy blueberries. Select plants for your growing zone and plants with the flavor and keeping quality that suits you.

Garden Fragrances

I would like for you to consider for a moment the garden of your life. The garden that people will see after you have gone on. Your garden, your legacy. Have you ever thought of your life being a garden? We touched briefly on the notion that your garden is an expression of you. What seeds are you planting? What fruit is being brought forth? What fragrances are you leaving behind?

Go with me in your mind to some of the most exquisite gardens in the world. One that comes to mind is the gardens and the grounds at the famous Biltmore Estate. Frederick Law Olmsted, a world renowned landscape architect, has touched the lives of untold thousands of people through his creativity. A stroll through those wonderful gardens is an experience that will be etched in your memory for a lifetime. If you ever need the inspiration to create your own little corner of the world, surely you must visit that awe inspiring estate. The work, the dedication, and the love of creating lasting beauty, is most evident in this beautiful garden. What a testimony and a legacy this man has left for all to enjoy.

Another garden of inspiration and beauty that has been left for all to benefit from is the life of a sweet, sweet lady. Helen Steiner Rice has touched and warmed the hearts of countless millions of people around the world. She has been acclaimed, and rightly so, “America’s beloved inspirational poet laureate”. Her works of inspirational literature have doubtless warmed and comforted the hearts of everyone who has ever read them. The sweet fragrances of God’s love for mankind is so apparent in her writings. This well of life that she was able to draw from she has passed on to us. This garden that was her life still continues to blossom anew in the hearts and minds of her readers. What a precious legacy.

The question still remains. Will you cultivate a garden of life today? A garden that your family, friends and the rest of the world will glean hope , happiness, and warmth from? There are a number of fertile grounds that are tilled and ready for planting. Consider looking for local Charities to donate your time and resources to. Then branch out to Foundations that seek to offer hope to the children and the elderly of the world who may not be as fortunate as some.

Will you begin today, sowing those seeds that will blossom, mature, and bring to life your legacy? Remember, your garden, your legacy, your expression of yourself, will flourish and continue to be a sweet savor for the world to enjoy. Consider some of these fields that lay before you today.

Georgia O’Keeffe – The Legend of Modern Abstract Art

Georgia O’Keeffe or Georgia Totto O’Keeffe was an American painter, who revolutionized the concept of modern abstract art. Born on November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Georgia O’Keeffe grew up in Virginia. She graduated from the Chatham Protestant Episcopal Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1904, and studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago (1905) and the Art Students League of New York (1907). She later moved to Texas and headed the Art Department at the West Texas State Normal College in 1916. The charm of the barren landscape caught O’Keeffe’s fascination, tilting the balance of her artistic skills towards capturing the beauty of the valleys and plains that surrounded her.

Georgia’s paintings drew up a close-up view of desert flowers, backdrops, cow skulls, and Calla Lilies. Her work won her a passionate audience. Her artistic brilliance was first noticed in her charcoal drawings of bud and flowers in 1916. Ace photographer and art gallery director of 291, Alfred Stieglitz, whom Georgia later married, exhibited 10 of her drawings in the same year. She had the knack of capturing and representing natural beauty in her own distinct ways. April 1917, O’Keeffe held her first solo show at the art gallery, 291.

1920s witnessed some of the best artworks of O’Keeffe. Her first large scale flower painting, “Petunia, No.2 (1924),” was first exhibited in 1925. She canvassed the buildings of New York in “City Night and New York–Night (1926)” and “Radiator Bldg–Night, New York (1927).” In one of her painting, ‘The Black Iris (1926),’ she magnified a flower beautifully, giving it a startling and an unusual look. Later in her career, O’Keeffe introduced different patterns of the sky, which she observed during her travels by air. Her mural, ‘Sky above Clouds (1962-63),’ is one of her largest illustrations.

Georgia O’Keeffe finally settled down in Abiquiu, New Mexico, after her husband’s death in 1949. She continued to fascinate the world with her emotive and simple paintings of exotic southwestern landscapes. By the time her illustrious career ended with her death in 1986, Georgia had carved a niche for herself and had left behind a legacy, which became a major source of inspiration for the other artists.

O’Keeffe always maintained that anything around her that came to her notice and intrigued her, she simply brought to the canvas. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts by the National Endowments of the Arts Washington, DC in 1985, which was presented to her by President Ronald Regan. She was also awarded the Medal of Freedom, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor. The National Institute of Arts and Letters awarded her a Gold Medal for Painting. She also held the distinct honor of being the first woman to exhibit her art at the Museum of Modern Art.