Pender Co. farm estimates this fruit brings millions to local economy

Pender Co. farm estimates this fruit brings millions to local economy

ROCKY POINT, N.C. (WECT) - American Blueberries, a national blueberry producer, says the blueberry industry is a hidden gem in North Carolina.

“We get to showcase what we do here that’s pretty hidden in southeastern North Carolina on rural farms that people are making their living and livelihood from," said Cal Lewis, owner of American Blueberries and Lewis Farms.

The NC Blueberry Festival in Burgaw is a welcomed opportunity for growers and producers to showcase their intricate role in agriculture and economy. Not only on a local scale, but nationally.

“We’re one of the largest states," said Lewis. "We’re of national promise when it comes to blueberry production and the festival allows us to showcase the importance of blueberry production in our region in North Carolina, of economic importance in our region to our community.”

American Blueberries estimates North Carolina will produce around 30 million pounds of blueberries in this year’s six week season. That’s nearly $70 million in gross income to the economy.

For Lewis Farms, preparing for the upcoming festival is a year-round venture.

"We’re growing it 12 months, 365 days a year to showcase it one day for the Blueberry Festival in Burgaw.”

But Cal Lewis himself believes that one day is all worth it.

“The best thing about the blueberry festival is bringing about awareness within the community and the state of what we do here in southeastern North Carolina in the production of blueberries and how prominent we are,” said Lewis.

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