We have been growing blueberries on our little farm since 1986 when we moved into our original heritage farmhouse on ten acres. We have been working hard ever since, and now have a loyal band of berry pickers that come back every year who are our friends as much as they are good workers.
We also have long-time customers as friends but are always welcoming new faces!
All our berries are Bluecrop, one of the sweetest and best tasting varieties of blueberries in Canada. Not to mention some of the largest berries you’ll see!
We have decided to forego the earlier starting season of other varieties such as Duke and Reka, the choice of large commercial operations, for the higher quality and excellent taste of Bluecrop. Our berries are harvested by hand, avoiding the bruising and softening of berry-picking machines.
Lets answer some questions about crop protection sprays. Without them it would be virtually impossible for farmers to grow enough crops to feed the population.
There’s no such thing as “zero” when you’re hunting for chemical residues. Modern lab equipment and testing methods are so sophisticated now that you’re always going to find something. What’s important to remember is that what you’re finding is in smaller and smaller (and smaller!) quantities. Where we once were looking for parts per million, we’re now able to detect parts per billion or even trillion. Residues in food are regulated to remain well below the “no effect” level – normally 100 to 1,000 times below that level. The human body is designed to eliminate low levels of chemicals. Microbial contamination – we commonly call it “food poisoning”— is a much greater and more common threat to human health than minute residues from crop control chemicals.
Canada has one of the most stringent product approval, residue monitoring and control systems in the world, with a strong focus on applicator safety and efficacy (how well a product works). When used as directed, any approved pesticides do not harm people, animals or plants, or affect food safety or quality—in fact, they are largely used to improve these attributes.
For example, pesticides—in tandem with other methods of crop protection—have helped raise the yields and quality of our fruits, vegetables and field crops, as well as the reliability of supply. They’ve also helped keep food prices affordable.
Testing, Testing, And More Testing
Before getting anywhere near our food production system, chemical products undergo years of testing and trials to prove their safety and effectiveness. They must meet stringent government requirements before being approved. An entire agency of Health Canada, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), regulates and monitors pesticides in cooperation with provincial authorities. The PMRA employs hundreds of independent scientists to test all pest control products to ensure they can be used safely before they are approved for use in Canada.
Berries that receive no crop protection whatsoever are susceptible to SWD (worms that live inside the berries) a pest now widespread in fruit growing areas of BC. It is also almost impossible to control diseases like Mummyberry and fruit rot such as Botrytis (which causes mould on berries) in our moist weather without chemical application.
We Reap What We Sow
We live where we work, we breathe the air and drink water from our own well, and we certainly eat a lot of blueberries. We use the minimum amounts of crop protection we can without compromising quality. We love what we do and we want you to enjoy our berries as much as we do!