SOUTH COAST — Bandon, Langlois and Port Orford are known for their cranberry farms, but there's another berry growing in popularity along the South Coast.
The Oregon blueberry industry has experienced more than 100 percent growth in less than 10 years, going from fewer than 20 million pounds of blueberries harvested in the late 1990s to nearly 40 million pounds in recent harvests.
Fresh Oregon blueberries are a hot commodity these days for many reasons — incredible taste, the highest quality and peerless nutritional value being just a few. And Oregon's South Coast is ripe with opportunity for those interested in growing blueberries.
Heather Valentine, 24, of Valentine Blueberries, a family business offering U-pick and pre-picked, understands the value of the berry. Her father Charlie, a building contractor and heavy equipment operator by trade, planted 7.5 acres of blueberries on Sydnam Lane, 11 miles south of Bandon, eight years ago.
"We didn't know what we were doing getting into it," Heather Valentine said. "It's been a learning experience."