Canada is the world's largest producer of low-bush blueberries, and is second to the United States for exporting blueberry crops.
These "dusty" blue marbles are jam-packed with flavor and are quite healthy to eat in the summertime and early fall seasons. In fact, one cup of blueberries contains just 85 calories! Although the blueberry arrived first in Europe, Canadians quickly learned how to use the berry for their personal delight. Not only could a handful of blueberries be used to smoke in the wintertime, but a mixture with honey and cornmeal could create cough syrup.
Lowbush blueberries are also called wild blueberries. This type of blueberry plant is native to Eastern North America and grows near tree lines. The highbush blueberries were developed in the 20th Century; and these are your more common store-bought, or farm-grown fruit. British Columbia grows the majority of high-bush blueberries in Canada; but they can also be grown in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
The summer and autumn seasons bring the best tasting blueberry crops from U.S. and Canadian fruit growers. Canadian blueberries are grown in clean conditions monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency which ensures the compliance of labeling, packaging and grading. Blueberries can be used in many different pies, smoothies, muffins, sauces and cakes.Growing blueberries require specific care and weather conditions in order to yield crops. For starters, blueberry plants need direct sunlight to survive. (They can tolerate partial sunlight; but it's not recommended.) Blueberries love acid soil with numbers between 4.0-5.00 of pH soil levels - great for Nova Scotia since the territory is rich in acidic soil.
The more organic matter the blueberry bushes have, the more likely they are to grow in the acidic soil. It's suggested that orchard growers mix the organic matter before planting the blueberry bush into the ground. Do not add fertilizer right away, instead fertilize the ground one month after planting the bush. Once this is done, a hole should be dug about 20 inches deep for the growing process to begin.
Once plants are growing, it's time for blueberry plant protection from deer, birds and other wildlife. It's recommended that blueberry growers install a deer fence for ultimate blueberry protection or drape netting over plants for bird control. If you are wondering how to protect blueberry plants further you can use deer repellents and strobe lighting to deter deer and birds from feasting on the berries.
This August, celebrate Blueberry Month in Canada with DeerbustersCanada. We're here to help protect your crops!