Blushing Blueberries is a family owned and operated business using only organic (and some biodynamic practices) to grow certified organic blueberries. The farm is nestled in the rolling hills of the Nambucca Valley near Macksville - a little under an hour from Bellingen.
Blushing Blueberries is led by Sandi Cleary, who was a Management Consultant for more than 10 years. Sandi decided to move to Northern NSW to 'retire'. She went on to underake formal study in Horticulture, leading to a Diploma of Organic Farming. In November 2016, she won the prestigious national award from the Australian Institute of Horticulture - Student of the Year Award.
Establishing Blushing Blueberries in 2015, Sandi led the development of her own unique range of handmade blueberry products. These include jams, sauces and a sensational award winning caramelised blueberry balsamic.
The business was borne out a love of gardening from Sandi's childhood:
"My mother was a passionate gardener and grew most of the fruit and vegetables we ate as a family. We were always encouraged as children to help in the garden as well as look after our own little plots growing whatever vegetables we wanted. I believe a passion for gardening is one of the most rewarding things in life".
Sandi initially saw blueberry cultivation as an academic exercise but with time found it a genuine business opportunity. Her desire to produce organically has definitely contributed to success and set the business apart.
"I wanted to grow organically, using the best possible practices to improve the health of the soil, provide habitat for native animals, work in harmony with nature, be sustainable and produce the most nutrient dense, flavourful, delicious blueberries possible. Blushing Blueberries has been Certified Organic since 2015 and we are currently certified with Australian Certified Organics".
The first certified organic crop of blueberries was picked in Spring 2017. This year - their first year - their Blueberry Shrub Cordial won Silver Medals at the Australian Food Awards in Melbourne and the Royal Sydney Food Awards and the Blueberry Drizzle Dessert Sauce won a Bronze Medal.
In 2018, they went on to win:
- 1 Gold Medal – Australian Food Awards in Melbourne
- 1 Gold Medal - Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards
- 1 Silver Medal - Australian Food Awards in Melbourne
- 1 Silver Medal - Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards
- 1 Bronze Medal - Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards
We are very proud to have Blushing Blueberries as part of our Bellingen Growers Market. These are amazing achievements for a new business in a very short period of time. Their products are truly sensational!blushingblueberries.com.au/