State Berry - Wild Blueberry

Blueberry rake image

Wild blueberries are harvested from late July to early September in Maine. Harvesting is still mainly by hand rake- a close-tined special RAKE invented about 112 years ago by a local Downeaster, Abijah Tabbutt and modified in minor variations since then. The secret is in the wielding of the rake - a special pushing and twisting motion of the wrists designed to tease the ripe berries from their grasp of the vine without crushing. Hand-raking is increasingly being replaced by mechanized harvesting. Although the technology is getting very good, hand-raking will always have its place - due in large part to the hilly and rocky terrain where wild blueberries are found.