Whether one is talking about small berries or small business in general, both are healthy and growing in Southwestern Nova Scotia!
The region is recognized as being ideally suited for a variety of berry crops including winter sensitive perennial crops. Micro-climates with long frost free periods and winters that are moderated by coastal influences contribute to these desirable growing conditions.
Nova Scotia continues to be a leader in strawberry production and new entrants such as the Haskap berry are adding new opportunities for both berry production, artisanal food and drink, and value added manufacturing.
4.55 million quarts on 650 producing acres in 2015 gives an indication of the size of this important industry in Nova Scotia and there are excellent opportunities to add to this volume by establishing your farm in our Region.
Highbush blueberries respond very well to the climate and soils of the region and again, benefit from the typically mild winters. Export demand is also increasing owing to the blueberry's many health related benefits.
While it is a relative newcomer to the Region, the Haskap is quickly being recognized as an exciting new berry opportunity. Hardiness, long life cycle, and high crop value are all positive attributes of this new "super-berry".
Smaller growers producing for local fresh markets has proven to be a sustainable model and yet larger opportunities are certainly viable when market demand and pricing allow.
A report from 2015 suggested that the wild blueberry industry could be producing another 100 million pounds of berries within the next ten years. Whether hobby farm or large scale producer... there are many opportunities available to capitalize on demand.
With the introduction of new raspberry varieties and a thornless blackberry the opportunity for expanding bramble production is very promising in Southwestern Nova Scotia.