Rockland Public Library will host David Yarborough, doctorate, Emeritus Blueberry Specialist and Emeritus Professor Horticulture, University of Maine, for a virtual presentation on Maine's wild blueberry industry, Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m.
Yarborough will describe the establishment of the wild blueberry plants as the glacier receded 10,000 years ago and discuss the beginnings of the blueberry industry in the 1800s.
Blueberry production in Maine has progressed from less than 1 million pounds produced in 1896 to the bumper crop of over 110 million pounds produced in 2000, according to the Library, in a news release. Changes in harvest techniques from hand-picking to hand-raking to the current practice of machine harvesting will also be discussed.
Additionally, the talk will cover the research and development-integrated pest management techniques and health-research that have allowed the wild blueberry industry in Maine to prosper and compete with cultivated blueberries in a world market.
David E. Yarborough is the Emeritus Wild Blueberry Specialist with Cooperative Extension and Emeritus Professor of Horticulture in the School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine, where he worked for 40 years. He attended the University of Maine, where he received a B.S. degree in wildlife management in 1975 and an M.S. degree in resource utilization in 1978. He received his doctorate in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1991.
Yarborough has worked with wild blueberry growers in Maine and Canada to educate them on best management practices that enabled them to increase their efficiency of production and profitability, so that the industry continues to remain competitive in the world marketplace. He was recognized by the IR-4 program when he received the Meritorious Service Award in 2006. Among his other honors is the Outstanding Service and Long Term Commitment Award from the Wild Blueberry Producers of Nova Scotia, presented to him in 2016.
“Maine’s Wild Blueberry Industry” will be held via the Zoom platform. To receive the link to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 p.m. on the day of the event.