The Power of the Berry

Sometimes the smallest little berry can make the biggest impact in your day. Local fresh berries explode with flavor and are a healthy source of fiber, natural sugars, and vitamins C, K, manganese, potassium and zinc. Low in carbohydrates and calories, but packed with antioxidants, berries are best when they are mixed with other local Michigan fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honey due. Top with some local honey and you’ve got Michigan in a bowl! 

Look for fresh picked Michigan strawberries as local as from Washington Township starting in June. The Michigan strawberry availability window only goes a couple weeks so grab them when you see them. Michigan cherries go fast as well and are usually ready by the end of June, just in time for the Fourth of July festivities. July brings raspberries although out of the Michigan berries, raspberries have the smallest acreage to account for so there’s a limited supply. However, there is a second season in September to enjoy Michigan raspberries. Finally, in late July and August look for fresh, local blueberries. Depending on weather blueberry season may even extend into September. Michigan blackberries are rare to find since so many are sold and used for processed products. Watch for them at the same time as raspberries. 

Making jam? Berries aren’t here for long but jellied or as jam their sweetness can last for months or even years in your pantry. Michigan’s fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries make great jams and jellies especially when they are so fresh. This is really the very best time to make anything using berries. Batches of jelly are small so it’s easy to just make a small amount. Fill your pantry with a variety of flavors and let the sweetness of Michigan berries last all year long.

Making Pie? Berry pies are the best when the berries are super fresh. Although cherry pies are a bit more work since you have to remove the pits, all berry pies are fairly easy to make. A streusel topping is also an easy favorite with a berry pie, complimenting the sweetness inside and out. Although pie crust lovers would say there’s no need for more sweetness with fresh local berries inside a pie. 

To keep berries fresh longer, Vince and Joe’s offers flash frozen Michigan berries in two pound bags so you can enjoy their sweetness throughout the year. Frozen berries are perfect for smoothies, in cereal, pancakes, salads and they are great when making a pie. By partnering with Michigan Farm to Freezer in Traverse City, Vince and Joe’s is able to offer frozen Michigan fruits from all over Michigan. Freezing at the peak of freshness is key. Look for favorites like blueberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries and even a west Michigan smoothie blend in the freezer case in the produce section.

And, yes, we know you love berries all year long, and not just during the summer months. That’s why when we aren’t sourcing local Michigan berries, Vince and Joe’s sources from farmers throughout the country with the freshest supply of berries throughout the year so our customers can enjoy all year long. If you don’t see a berry you love it’s probably because we couldn’t find them fresh.