A century ago, farmer Elizabeth White and USDA Researcher Frederik Coville experimented with cultivation of wild highbush blueberries from the pine barrens of
If you want to see the beginnings, travel east from New Jersey about one hour to Whitesbog.
Set your GPS to: Philadelphia
Whitesbog Preservation Trust
120 W Whites Bogs Rd #34
Mills, NJ 08015
The short version:
Elizabeth White was a lady cranberry farmer at the turn of the century in the Pine forests of
South New Jersey.
Her father was a cavalry officer at nearby .
It was incredibly rare to see a woman running a large scale farm
operation in those days! Each day she walked from her home (which
is still there) down a shady road to her vast cranberry bogs. She
marveled at the abundance of wild blueberries in the forest and dreamed of the
day that this could be cultivated into a commercial crop. Wild highbush
blueberries are not economically feasible for production and harvesting.
Fort Dix met
up with a USDA researcher named Frederic Coville who also shared this dream.
The teamed up to perform the experiments which led to the development of
highbush blueberry production. They learned that blueberries required
specific acidic soil types similar to the forests of Elizabeth . New Jersey paid a bounty to local hunters to
bring back big beautiful blueberry plants to her experimental farm.
(which is still there!) Elizabeth
The result: highbush blueberries flourished, and by 1916, her first commercial crop was market. Yes, the Centennial is coming up! And stay tuned as it will be a big celebration! Elizabeth White's work has led to the development of a blueberry industry in 28 states and around the world!