“They say blueberries are like medicine”

Basket of blueberries. Mr Mora

The fruit season begins with the right foot, driven by unforeseen weather and the activity of the Asiatic wasp.


Even before June reared its head, on the last day of May, Maria José Camino filled her baskets with blueberries. With this early harvest, the red fruit season has begun at the El Bregon farm in Nava, where the finest examples of Asturias sprout.

The jury of the Blueberry and Red Fruit Festival in Villaviciosa awarded this recognition in its latest edition, highlighting a product grown organically in Nava by a couple who decided to give new life to an almost abandoned family farm.

The blueberry season has already begun in Asturias and promises a summer full of flavor at the expense of small disasters that can spoil the entire harvest year. Because blue fruits appear in summer, but in order for them to appear strong and healthy at this time, constant and dedicated work is required throughout the year, the farmer emphasizes.

Those unfamiliar with the countryside are unaware of the work behind the succulent trays of the orbs and how sometimes it is lost due to hail at the wrong time that destroys the entire crop – this happened many years ago in El Bregon and they have since decided to install greenhouses – or it is diminishing due to the action of the velutins that devastated the plantation last year.

However, the farm saved about 6,000 kilograms of produce sold through the Principado Berries cooperative based in Pravia. The blueberries that Camino and her husband grow naturally end up there. Plants need “little or no phytosanitary treatment to produce quality fruit,” Serida clarifies, which is why many products opt for certification through Copae.

El Bregon has grown over the years. The modest project was born in 2015, expanded two years later and currently reaches one and a half hectares and 4,700 plants. With him and her rural life, Maria José Camino, who bills herself as an “employee” and owner at the same time, is loudly “happy”, although she admits she wishes she were “paid a little better” for the product she sells.

The award changed nothing and at the same time changed everything. It suggests “a push that raises morale and makes you want to keep going.” The jury, of course, appreciated the taste of Liberty blueberries, but also more technical aspects, such as size, petina, ripening time…

The seven varieties they produce, with different ripening cycles, will allow them to spend the entire summer from harvest to harvest. If Maria José Camino lacks anything, it’s encouraging her to purchase blueberries locally from her farm and through shared trips around the country and Europe.

The old continent has exponentially increased its consumption. The per capita average was 150 grams per person in 2014 and reached 600 in 2022, still far from the kilogram predicted to be eaten in 2026.

Its nutritional properties are the best cover letter. Rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, they boost the immune system and protect the digestive system and brain. They are often recommended for people with urinary tract infections and also to prevent high blood pressure.

“They say it’s like a medicine,” Camino admits. Of course, there is no medicine tastier.

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