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The blueberry plant or Blueberry in English is a plant that can be cultivated throughout the Greek territory because there are blueberry species that need less cold during the winter months and there are also species that need more cold, and Greece has all these areas . The country with the largest blueberry production is the USA, followed by Canada and immediately after the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine.
Blueberry fruits are blue in color and are eaten straight off the tree but can also be packed and frozen. In addition to the wonderful taste they have, they contribute due to their substances to the improvement of human health because these fruits also have many therapeutic properties for various ailments and this has been proven through scientific research.
Many products are derived from the blueberry, which include it either as a main ingredient or as a secondary ingredient. The industries that use it are the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. On a global scale, the biggest growth in crops is the tree blueberry.
In Greece, the tree blueberry is mainly planted in the spring. But in the islands of Southern Greece, due to the slightly higher temperatures, it can be planted from mid-autumn to early spring. The plants can be planted from the root or they can also be in pots and they must be in a place where there is no air because with air the blueberry roots dry out very easily. The plants that produce best are those that have been grown for 1 to 1.5 years and the seedlings should be 1 to 3 years old at the most and of the best quality possible.
A great advantage of the blueberry is that it can be grown in poor and relatively barren areas due to the fact that it already has many nutrients on its own and does not need good quality soil and large amounts of fertilizers to grow. On the contrary, small lubrications that are done on a regular basis are necessary. The blueberry must be supplied with nitrogen in quantities that are not particularly large, but since the crops have a high yield, the use of nitrogen is necessary. Small amounts of potassium and phosphorus are also necessary.
The blueberry needs large amounts of water where in the summer months when it is usually dry it must necessarily get at least 25mm of water every week until the beginning of autumn when the first rains begin. The point is that if it doesn't rain, the blueberry must be watered, but even if it rains more than normal, this can also have destructive effects. Therefore, the blueberry needs a normal amount of water.
It is still necessary to fight the weeds, which must be done in the land that is to be cultivated some years before. This can be done by cultivation methods, prevention methods, chemical methods, mechanical methods, and biological methods. The blueberry has various diseases and viruses that it is necessary to fight. Birds are a great enemy of the blueberry because its fruit is very suitable for them. This can be combated by methods such as artificial noise mechanisms, scarecrows, and nets. For its harvesting, the most suitable method is by hand and not by machines.
In any case, the following economic factors must be taken into account for its cultivation. The duration of cultivation is about three decades. The number of plants grown per hectare is around 200. The average amount of fruit is estimated at 1000 kg per hectare. The costs of harvesting fruit by hand ranges from 700 to 1000 euros per hectare and the amount of fruit that comes out by hand is around 5 kg per hour. The duration for the fruits to develop is 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the type of blueberry.
The harvest period takes place in the summer months, from July to September. Finally, the fruit is sold for around 4 to 5 euros per kilo. The installation costs of an acre of tree blueberry ranges from 900 to 1000 euros per acre. Even every year the costs to cultivate, maintain and harvest the fruits of a complete hectare of blueberries ranges at 1500 euros per hectare. The annual income from cultivation is 4000 to 5000 euros per hectare and the net income from 2800 to 3400 euros per hectare.
How the blueberry is processed Blueberries are most often sold directly after being harvested. However, it can be processed in various ways. It is processed for the production of sweets and garnishes, for the preparation of yogurt, concentrated juice and essential oils. Finally it can be frozen and dehydrated. Blueberry fruits are characterized by their many antioxidant substances.
In 100 grams of blueberry, the human body receives 50 calories. So the blueberry is a medium calorie food, neither light nor heavy. It also has few sugars and a lot of water, which cools the body a lot. It also greatly contributes to the good functioning of digestion due to the vegetable fibers it contains. It also contributes to the fight against prostate, breast, mouth and colon cancer due to the substances it contains, as well as to the fight against diseases of the elderly such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
Blueberry also heals vision! During World War II, British air force pilots ate large amounts of blueberry-based jams and sweets to see German planes even better. In addition to vision, it fights indigestion, nausea, diarrhea and diabetes. Simply in the case of diabetes, blueberry causes hypoglycemia.
How the blueberry is processed Blueberries are most often sold directly after being harvested. However, it can be processed in various ways. It is processed for the production of sweets and garnishes, for the preparation of yogurt, concentrated juice and essential oils. Finally it can be frozen and dehydrated.