BLUE HILL — A new 4-cent blueberry stamp came out this month and the Blue Hill post office was selected as the “first day of issue site” for its release on Monday, Jan. 10, according to a press release from the U.S. Postal Service.
The blueberries definitive stamp will be sold in coils of 3,000 and 10,000 and in panes of 20. The stamp features a pen, ink and watercolor illustration of a cluster of blueberries and leaves. The 4-cent denomination is on the top left and “USA” is at the bottom right. Art Director Derry Noyes designed this stamp using an existing illustration by John Burgoyne. Though wild blueberries are now widely available and abundant, the fruit was not cultivated before the 20th century, the service stated.
Frank Coville, a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist, discovered that the plants thrive in acidic soil, opening the gate to modern blueberry production. Today, the highbush blueberry has become the most widely cultivated blueberry. Highbush blueberries are grown extensively in Maine, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, California, North Carolina and other states, the Postal Service stated. In addition to highbush, many acres of the native “lowbush” blueberry are also produced in Maine. The rabbiteye species, which tolerates higher temperatures, also grows well in the southern parts of the United States.