In Maine, growing wild blueberries isn’t just a business, it’s a proud tradition and it’s a way of life.
This July I attended the Wild Blueberry Summer Field Day hosted by the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension in Jonesboro. Downeast Wind was thrilled to join as a sponsor, and I was truly impressed by the Blueberry Hill Farm operation.
The collective knowledge-sharing by growers, the seasonal trial and error, and constant pursuit of best management and marketing practices was eye opening. This dedication to the wild blueberry exemplified what is so unique about this agricultural community. At times the event felt less like a trade show and more like a family reunion.
As a new partner in this community, Downeast Wind is excited about the opportunities we can offer to the area as a whole. For the blueberry growers, that means providing a second, more reliable source of income. Unlike with most crops in America, wild blueberry growers won’t know the price per pound until after the product has shipped. Siting wind turbines in blueberry barrens is a win-win that can help Maine’s growers diversify their income and protect them from the most drastic effects of price volatility.
“Having lived in Maine my whole life, I’m thrilled to be involved in a project that I truly believe in, in a state I care deeply about. In my studies, I have explored both state energy policies, as well as current strategies for economic revitalization in rural Maine. I am very excited by the opportunities our wind project can bring Downeast, and glad to be a part of the team.”
Ben Semmes is a public affairs intern for the Downeast Wind project. Ben joined Apex Clean Energy in June of 2016 and has been helping with the public relations in Washington County. Ben is currently a student at Colby College where he studies Environmental Policy and Economics.