OUR WILD BLUEBERRY
We manage over 24,000 acres of Wild Blueberry fields, making Oxford the largest fruit farm in the world!
Our farming Operations, Bragg Lumber Company in Atlantic Canada and Cherryfield Foods Farm in the United States are responsible for Field and Farm Management
Wild Blueberries are a biennial crop producing berries in the second year. The fruit buds form in the fall and a deep snow cover is needed to protect the fruit buds from freezing so fruit can grow the following spring.
In the Spring, the Wild Blueberry fields are full of blossoms waiting to be pollinated.
Wild Blueberry blossoms. It is hard to believe that a blossom that white, turns into our beloved Wild Blueberry.
Pollination has to happen within ten to twelve days for a healthy crop of Wild Blueberries to grow. That’s why we are also beekeepers, owning two apiaries in Atlantic Canada and why we contract apiaries in the U.S. and Canada to ensure
both company and grower fields get pollinated on time.
Wild Blueberries form and ripen in late July. Gone are the white blossoms, changing to a deep blue colour at harvest time.
Now ripe on the vine, the fruit is ready for harvest. Harvest typically begins the second week of August and continues into mid September. There are many different micro-climates on the East Coast of Canada and the U.S., making the fruit ripen at different locations at different times.
To ensure the Wild Blueberries have the best growing conditions, we have permanent in ground irrigation in over 9000 acres of land. This water is sustainably brought from wells, rather than lakes or rivers, to reduce impact on the environment, maintaining
the balance between nature and our fields.
The Bragg Harvester is the standard for Wild Blueberry picking. Fleets of company and grower Harvesters ensure that thousands of acres of Wild Blueberries get harvested on time and make it to the processing facilities within hours of picking.
We have a strong discipline, which controls the harvest to ensure freezing within hours of harvest.
Like many plants and trees in the fall, Wild Blueberry leaves turn a beautiful red colour. By late September, the view of many red fields is breathtaking.
Fields that were harvested are pruned by mowing the plants down.
This picture shows the variation in height before and after mowing. These fields will
have new growth next spring and will develop fruit buds, which will winter over and be harvested the following summer....beginning a new bi-annual cycle.