Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 6:30 p.m., the Belfast Free Library will host David Yarborough, emeritus professor of horticulture and blueberry specialist at the University of Maine, for a zoom presentation about the little-known facts about the fascinating “History of Maine’s Wild Blueberries.”
The talk is co-sponsored by the Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Garden Club. To register for the zoom link please go to https://belfastlibrary.org/virtual-programs/.
According to Dr. Yarborough, Maine’s wild blueberry plants were established 10,000 years ago as a result of receding glaciers. Dr. Yarborough will talk about Maine’s blueberry industry, which began in the 1800s, through to today and will follow the use of wild blueberries and their production, which were first picked fresh, then canned, and are now principally frozen and used as a product ingredient. Harvest techniques developed from hand-picking, to hand-raking, to the current practice of machine harvesting.
Attendees will also learn about the difference between wild and cultivated blueberries and pick up some tips and resources for growing them.
David Yarborough earned his PhD at the University of Massachusetts. He retired from the University of Maine in 2017, after working there for 40 years, after which he was interim executive director for the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine and Wild Blueberry Association of North America in 2019. He lives in Stillwater, a suburb of Old Town.