What Mother Nature Says
Wild blueberries grow naturally only in the acid soils of Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Maine.
Producers clear away shrubs, bushes and grasses to allow the wild blueberry plants to grow, and then manage them carefully to obtain a crop.
Wild blueberries are the most important fruit crop in Atlantic Canada.
In New Brunswick, producers harvest tens of millions pounds annually (See recent production stats).
A crop is harvested every second year from wild blueberry plants. In the first year of the crop cycle, the sprout year, the plant sets fruit bud for the following crop year. These plants retain their green leaves and will continue growing into the fall. The left side of the same photo shows blueberry plants that have been recently harvested. Most of the leaves have fallen off during harvest. Later in the fall these plants will be pruned either by mechanical pruning methods or by burning. When the plants start to grow the following spring they will begin their sprout year.
An important part of blueberry production is pollination. During this time, from mid-May to mid-June depending on location, trailer loads of honey bees can be seen moving around the province as they are delivered to blueberry fields. Producers also rely on native pollinators, leafcutter bees and managed bumblebees to assist with pollination.
Between mid-August and mid-September producers work to harvest the crop and deliver daily to processors for guarantee freshness.