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Friday, June 22, 2018

It's a "fantastic" blueberry season: Where to get your fix around town

Summertime blues

Posted by Katie Lyons and Mary Scott Hardaway on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 2:35 PM


Cheri Ward of Blue Pearl Farms says this year's blueberry crop is "fantastic." Last year, Blue Pearl and other blueberry farms suffered from a warm spring and late freeze, explains Ward, "but it's like the trees took a year off and came back better than ever."

The sustainable McClellanville farm grows heritage rabbiteye blueberries, which are the "old-fashioned, classic Southeastern blueberries" says Ward. They arrive later than newer varieties, but their season runs well through August. Ward says her berries are "incredibly huge, full, and sweet" this year and that the rabbiteye, generally, "takes longer to ripen, which deepens the flavor, in my opinion." The farm is not a standard u-pick spot, but Ward says they do host u-pick events, usually on Sundays during the summer. The first public picking of the season is this Sun. June 24 starting at noon. "I'm very excited to have people out here enjoying the blueberries," says Ward. "I think they'll be dumbfounded by the beauty."


Can't wait 'til Sunday, or can't make it out to the farm? These area restaurants have turned Blue Pearl's berries into delectable dishes and drinks.

Edmund's Oast Brewing Co.
EOBC uses Blue Pearl Farms berries and has a dessert on the regular menu that features fried shortcakes with berries and whipped cream. Advanced cicerone Brandon Plyler says to look out for the brewery's Coin Operated Belgian-style table beer to be brewed with blueberries, peaches, and lemon zest going on tap in the next few weeks.

Sugar Bakeshop
Stop by Sugar for a vanilla blueberry cupcake or a blueberry coffee cake with local berries from Blue Pearl Farms on Thursdays. They even have a local blueberry & Buttermilk marbleized creamsicle. Order a lattice top blueberry pie or vanilla cake with sugared blueberries — both perfect for a Fourth of July party.


Baker & The Farmer

Baker & The Farmer on Johns Island has a limited edition blueberry ice cream. Try it in shop or take a pint home. You can even build your own ice cream sandwich with blueberry ice cream between two white chocolate macadamia nut cookies — sounds pretty damn delicious. They are also serving up a tart with a chocolate shell, caramel and chocolate ganache, a mixed berry meringue and fresh blueberries sprinkled on top.


Wich Cream

Wich Cream joined forces with Blue Pearl to create a blueberry ice cream sandwich. From their Insta, it looks like the blueberry ice cream is sandwiched between two sugar cookies. Find the treat at numerous spots around town like Caviar and Bananas, Mercantile and Mash, the Charleston Farmers Market, or the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market.


Life Raft Treats

Life Raft Treat's latest creation (replacing their strawberry treat) is a Blueberry Buttermilk ice cream sandwich made with Blue Pearl Farm’s blueberries and dairy from Lowcountry Creamery.

Katherine Lewis from Black Pearl Farms, located in Branchville, S.C., says their blueberry season also went "very well this year." They grow high bush varieties so their season starts earlier than Blue Pearl's, around late April/early May, and runs through mid-June.

GrowFood Carolina sells Black Pearl berries to a number of groceries, restaurants, and breweries, and Lewis says this year they're especially excited "to team up with Munkle Brewing and the Charleston Brewery District to provide blueberries for their collaboration brew this year. It is a summer ale with a hint of blueberry."

Commonhouse Aleworks is also using Black Pearl berries for their 

Indigose, a 5.2% ABV Blueberry Gose which they'll premiere Sat. June 23 at noon.

Brown’s Court Bakery has tons of blueberry items on their menu with berries sourced from GrowFood, including daily items like blueberry muffins, yogurt parfaits, and blueberry cream cheese danishes. Grab some fresh Black Pearl berries from Earth Fare, Whole Foods, Mixson Market, and Veggie Bin.

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