At WSFL, we love our antioxidants. Blueberries in particular are the winner overall. Just one cup has 13,427 total antioxidants – vitamins A & C, plus flavonoids (a type of antioxidant). That’s about 10 times the USDA’s recommendation, in just one cup! Cultivated blueberries have 9,019 per cup and are equally vitamin-rich. So on June 30th we trekked out to find one of the most historically rich sources of Blueberries in ENC and landed at the Morris Blueberry Farms, a family run operation for roughly three quarters of a century. Shannon and her family have kept the tradition alive generation after generation.
Morris Blueberries has the largest crop of the highly coveted Croatan Blueberries in the state, which, according to the American Pomological Society, were “…introduced in January of 1955 by the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station and the Bureau of Plant Industry. The Croatan originated as a seedling from the cross Weymouth x F-6 made by the late F. V. Coville. Croatan ripens later than Angola and Wolcott, but ahead of Murphy. It tends to ripen about 70% of its fruit during the first two weeks of harvest. Its plants are erect, exceptionally vigorous and very productive. The fruit is borne in long, fairly loose, attractive clusters. The berries have been slightly larger than those of Angola, Wolcott, Weymouth and Murphy. The berry is aromatic and sweet to acid, depending upon the degree of ripeness” as stated by the Dept. of Horticulture, Slate College Station, Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Morris plantation is available for people to spend the day picking their own blueberries if they wish, and takes pride in using the honor system as one method of payment.
There are many original artifacts that display the farm’s storied history, including some of the original tools used to plant the blueberry trees on the property in the first place. Below you can see the equipment dating back to the 60’s still used to help sort and clean the berries after they’re picked, as well.
Shannon was born in one of the structures still housed on the farm’s property, situated across from the original stand used to sell the blueberries.
So if you’re into syrups, jams, preserves, and fresh blueberries from right here in the ENC, get while the gettin’s good at Morris Blueberry Farms!
Thanks, Shannon, for taking WSFL on a tour and all of your hospitality!