Blueberries originated in North America. Native Americans discovered their benefits a long time before the white people's invasion. They believed which the berries, with their star-shaped blossom-ends, were sent by the Great Spirit. Native Americans used both the fruits and the roots, which they dried and ground. Originally, there were only wild blueberry bushes which could not be transplanted. Indeed, transplanting proved to be quite difficult. The first attempts occurred towards the end of the 19th Century as a way to replenish wild blueberries eradicated by the growth of cities. Success came after many years of observations and research, which resulted in surprising findings. It turned out that the plant does not like fertile garden soil. Instead, it needs acidic soils! 30 years after the discovery, the cultivation area of blueberry increased a hundred times.
Today Poland is among the leading producers of blueberry in Europe. We wouldn't have achieved this position without the work and research conducted by Kazimierz Pliszka, deservedly known as the "Blueberry King". He organised the first Blueberry Day in Poland to promote knowledge of blueberries and their cultivation. His undertakings turned out to be a great success. Blueberry-picking is one of the most-beloved Polish traditions. It is well documented in literature, for example in Maria Konopnicka's Picking Berries, Father Jan Twardowski's Who Made the Blueberry and in Kashubian legends in which children picking berries are looked after by the Blueberry Aunt.