Blueberry Varieties at Kenburn Orchards
At Kenburn Orchards, we grow eight varieties of cultivated high-bush blueberries. We chose these for their flavor, ripening time and winter hardiness. Each variety has its particular bush shape from short and compact to tall and open. The berries range in size from ¼” to over 3/4″ in diameter, each with a distinctive flavor, and vary in color from almost black to light powder blue. Our local source for blueberry bushes is Nourse Farms.
Patriot is an early variety. We have 7 rows on the south side of our field, and usually start picking there in early July. The fruit is large and has very good flavor.
Reka, another early season blueberry variety, comes from New Zealand. We have six rows of Reka on the north side of the field. These are younger bushes, still fairly low to the ground. Fruit is an attractive dark-blue color and the plant produces large crops of early ripening, medium size, exceptional tasting berries.
Bluecrop, and its relatives bluegold and blue ray (we have a few of each) produce high yields of large, bright blue berries that are firm and grow in large clusters. The berry flavor is superb, fresh or frozen.
Northland has excellent winter hardiness. The medium-size berries are very flavorful – similar to wild blueberries. We have two rows of Northland which are excellent for jams and baking because of their high sugar content.
Jersey is a mid to late-season variety that is one of the oldest and most widely grown blueberry varieties. The berries are dark blue, medium in size, and very sweet. The sweet tasting fruit is a favorite for baking. Unfortunately we have had some degree of winter kill in Jersey in recent years. The bushes, cut back to the ground, bounce back the next year.
Aurora and Liberty are late ripening varieties, usually ready in August. We have a row and a half of each which produce firm, distinctly flavored, light colored berries that pick easily and ripen into late season time frames. We love them for their improved flavor and large berry size, with thick clusters of easy picking berries.
Elliot is one of the latest of our varieties, fruiting into September. Berries are medium-sized, firm and have a light-blue color. Fruit needs to be picked fully ripe for best taste as it can be quite tangy unless fully ripe. The late bloom period avoids most spring frosts and provides a heavy bud set. The bountiful crops of larger fruit are worth waiting for.