ELIZABETH COLEMAN WHITE – PLANT BREEDER

Before Elizabeth White, the blueberry industry was all wild harvest. That does not mean it was small, however. It was of commercial scale with major sales in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.

White was an agricultural specialist, working with cranberries originally before blueberries. She was born of a Quaker family in New Jersey. As a Quaker myself, I take interest in that; I too am a plant breeder.

She worked independently for years collecting the best blueberries that the wild harvesters would bring her — to receive prizes. Her work drew the attention of USDA, and they stationed Dr. Coville at her research farm.

Together they did the plant breeding that created varieties that are the basis of today’s commercial cultivated blueberry industry. You can read more about her online; another illustrious Quaker; illustrious woman.