All hail B.C. blueberries!


Blueberries are back in season, so we’ve got a few suggestions for what you can do with them. Aleesha Harris/Postmedia News [PNG Merlin Archive]
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British Columbians are blessed with a veritable bounty of locally grown goods.

From tomatoes and corn, to cherries and even various meats and seafood, the province provides a plethora of delicious eats for dinner plates in B.C. — and beyond.

Perhaps one of the most widely recognized foods to be grown locally is the blueberry.

Vast fields of bushes dotted with the juicy blue fruit abound in the Lower Mainland, with direct farm-to-consumer stands proving to be a regular (and popular) sight on many Fraser Valley roads.

“B.C. produces about 96 per cent of Canada’s high-bush blueberries,” says Anju Gill, the acting executive director of the B.C. Blueberry Council. “There are approximately 700 growers and 27,000 acres of blueberry farms.”

With local growers’ help, the berries amount to the number-one small fruit export for Canada, according to the association, with top destinations being the United States, Japan, China and Germany.

So, what makes B.C. such a good place to grow blueberries? Well, it has a lot to do with the weather.

“The heat of summer days gives the blueberries that perfect combination of sweet and tart taste,” Gill explains. “The cool nights provide the plants respite from the heat and a chance to recuperate. And the winter chill brings the plants to dormant phase, and this is exactly what these cultivars need to reset for the next summer.”

“Just like any other crop, blueberries are weather dependent,” explains Shaminder Mallhi, an Abbotsford-based grower who …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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