According to the Washington Blueberry Commission, the volume of blueberries harvested in the state is expected to be larger than last year’s bumper crop, meaning a greater availability of fresh Washington blueberries. The availability of organic blueberries is expected to rise as well.
That’s good news not only for growers, but for those interested in eating healthy food grown locally. Blueberries have been called one of the super foods because they are loaded with antioxidant compounds that reduce free radicals that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases.
Blueberries contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that also gives the berries their deep indigo color. And blueberries register at the top of the phytonutrient scale, meaning they have health-protecting qualities, plus they are high in dietary fiber and potassium. A half cup serving has 40 calories.
Washington ranks sixth in U.S. blueberry production. There are about 80 varieties grown in Washington but the most popular is Duke, a light-blue, large berry that is so firm they are almost crisp.
Other popular local varieties include Blue Crop, Blue Jay, Jersey, Olympia and Elliott.
There are 150 blueberry growers in the state, with about 6,000 acres of farmland devoted to blueberries. Most are grown in Thurston, Lewis, Skagit, Clark, Snohomish and Whatcom counties.
Go to www.superblues.org for a list of local farms selling blueberries this summer.
OK, you lovers of ceramic gnomes, pink plastic flamingos and concrete kittens – it’s time to talk about why you love your garden ornaments. Your ornament can be a huge sculpture, a bird bath or the charming kitsch of the classic pink flamingo.
E-mail your story to email@example.com by July 30. Include your name, town, age, and phone number. Your story could be published in The Olympian or at www.theolympian.com.
Nisqually Kennel Club’s annual Dog Show: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday, Mason County Fairgrounds, 751 Fairgrounds Road, Shelton. See more than 1,000 dogs of 130 different breeds compete in conformation, obedience and rally. Free admission and parking. For details, go to www.nisquallykennelclub.com.
Wildlife Festival: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wolf Haven, 3111 Offut Lake Road S.E., Tenino. The festival features live bands, food, activities for children and storytellers. The day ends with Wolf Haven’s famous howling contest. Admission is free; 15-minute sanctuary tours are available for $5 per person. Call 800-448-9653 or go to www.wolfhaven.org.
Aerial Performance troupe Ricochet presents “STITCH”: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia. Show combines aerial acrobatics, contortion, character and charm. $10-$25 sliding scale tickets available at www. buyolympia.com or Rainy Day Records, and at the box office the night of the show only. Call 360-754-6670.
Fourth annual Tenino Wine and Music Festival: 5 p.m. to midnight July 24-25 at Tenino City Park. Party with Kim Archer Band on July 24 and Funk Factory on July 25, followed both nights by TelluRide. Tickets are $15 per night or $20 for a weekend pass. For more details, go to www.teninowineandmusicfestival.com.
Today in History
In 1859, Big Ben, the great bell inside the famous London clock tower, chimed for the first time. (The clock itself had been keeping time since May 31.)
In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
One year ago: Oil prices reached a record high of $147.27 a barrel.