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Picking Wild Blueberries
Growing Wild Blueberries

Lowbush Wild Blueberries continue to flourish in the pefectly suited climate of Ontario. Wild Blueberries have a unique flavor and grow with minimal help from man. The Wild Blueberry "barrens" (fields) are periodically renewed by nature through either lightning strikes or brushfires, which serve as a method of pruning and weed control, and at the same time fertilizes. Nature does the rest.

Lowbush blueberries grow only about six to eighteen inches high, yet will produce up to 4,000 lbs of blueberries per acre. In May-June the "barrens" are in full bloom with bell shaped white/pink flowers. Pollination is helped by the use of natural as well as commercial bee hives. After pollination, the berry "sets" and is ready for picking from mid-late August. Most Wild Blueberries are harvested by hand but mechanical harvesting is now being introduced in some of the more level fields.

Lowbush Berries

Once harvesting takes place, the berries are washed, cleaned and quickly frozen to preserve their natural flavours. The largest percentage of blueberries is used by the baking industry. Commercial bakers prefer Wild Blueberries because there are more berries per pound than with cultivated berries. Wild Blueberries do not explode during baking and hold their shape well. Frozen Wild Blueberries store well and will last over 2 years or longer without losing any value.

If It's Not From The Forest, It's Not Wild!
Mike Poulin,            
James Bay Wild Fruit

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