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The Wild Blueberry in Oxford Nova Scotia

Updated on February 4, 2018
sharonbellis profile image

Sharon is a certified Human Resources Manager with a passion for health topics, food, non-fiction books and writing

Wild Blueberry

The wild blueberry grows abundantly in Oxford, Nova Scotia, Canada. The blueberry is a favourite fruit for many reasons. One of these is it's great to eat on its own or as a nice addition to oatmeal, fruit salads, yogurt; you name it. It's a versatile little berry that is also a superfood.

The wild blueberry is especially nutritious and they grow in abundance in the wild blueberry capital of Canada; Oxford, Nova Scotia.

Oxford is a tiny little town that is home to the gigantic blueberry man pictured below. This giant blueberry welcomes everyone to Oxford. He is the "King" of the local business that provides the world with frozen wild blueberries.

I have been to this little town only because my Uncle once lived there and was a local business owner. He always told me "if you get ever get tired of life in the big city, come on down to Oxford, you can always get a job in the blueberry plant"

Well, I never took him up on his offer and he has since retired and moved to another town. Oxford is still chugging along as the largest wild blueberry producer in Canada and now in the world.

I know that generally speaking, people think of Canada as the land of ice and snow but that stereotypical opinion is just not so. Canada produces an abundance of fruit so if you ever find yourself visiting this country and in particular, Nova Scotia, visit the blueberry capital of Canada; a little town named Oxford.

Giant Blueberry in Oxford Nova Scotia
Giant Blueberry in Oxford Nova Scotia | Source

Where Exactly is Oxford, Nova Scotia? - The Blueberry Capital of Canada!

Oxford is a very small town with a population of only 1,138. It is so small that it is not even named on the map! Its approximate location is just southeast of the town of Amherst, which is a larger town of just over 9000 therefore it earns a "dot" on the map!

A markerNova Scotia is on the East Coast of Canada -
Oxford, Nova Scotia, Canada
get directions

The History of Oxford Nova Scotia

Oxford has a very long history as it was founded in 1791 and came to have its name because it was at the junction of three rivers and the early settlers would use oxen to cross these rivers. The word "ford" meant "the act of crossing" a river hence the two words were put together and the area became known as "Oxford".

This town has not grown substantially in population but it has made a name for itself in the frozen food industry by shipping wild blueberries worldwide.

The blueberry processing plant is the largest employer in this small town and it processes an astounding three million pounds of this tiny berry during the peak growing season.

Before Oxford ventured into the wild blueberry business the town enjoyed a strong manufacturing industry that included a foundry and a wool mill. It has always been a prosperous place to live and work.

Oxford to this day is expanding its frozen food business and I have recently ads on television for the first time this year. The brand is strong!

Wild Blueberries vs Regular Blueberries

Blueberries | Source

Wild Blueberries versus Cultivated Blueberries: What's the difference?

The blueberries in Oxford, Nova Scotia are wild and are not cultivated. Blueberries are a berry that is native to North America. Blueberries were a nutritional staple of for Native Indians.

So what is the difference between blueberries growing in the wild and blueberries that we grow? The cultivated berries are larger and juicier and that's a plus when it comes to taste BUT they are not as packed full of antioxidants as the wild blueberry.

The wild blueberry is a super food. Adding blueberries to your diet has many health benefits and the nutritional value of the blueberry rivals many of our other healthy fruits and vegetables. For example, you would need to eat five servings of broccoli (another super food) to equal the antioxidant level of one serving of blueberries. That is a very significant difference.

Oxford Frozen Foods: Provider of Wild Blueberries

Oxford Frozen Foods
Oxford Frozen Foods | Source

Did you know that this tiny hamlet in Nova Scotia is the world's largest provider of wild blueberries? Yes, its true this sleepy little town is the home of Oxford Frozen Foods founded in 1968. This company supplies the world with wild blueberries. The climatic conditions in this area of Nova Scotia provides the perfect growing conditions for this wild fruit so they grow here abundantly.

The Beautiful Blueberry

The Beautiful Blueberry
The Beautiful Blueberry | Source

Where do Blueberries Grow?

These berries are native to North America. The species growing wild in the northeast region of North America is known as the lowbush blueberry. They are a very hardy plant, known to be resistant to forest fires. Low lying and deciduous this plant is very prolific and being wild, it is managed by farmers rather than actually cultivated.

Blueberries on the bush start off very pale and as they ripen become the dark blue shade they are known for - hence the name!

Here is A Vacationer's Visit to Oxford, Nova Scotia

© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo

Did you Enjoy Your Visit to the Blueberry Capital?

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    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago

      I pick wild blueberries every summer. Comparison to cultivated -- 100% better!

    • mrkensworld profile image

      mrkensworld 5 years ago

      Interesting lens Sharon, I did not realize there was a difference but do love blueberries. Thanks for sharing this lens :-) The Blueberries in the News picture is so different from the ones I have seen.. looks really yummy!

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      @Mammozon: I hope you are able to get there soon. I haven't been down there for a few years now, but I spent all my childhood summers in Nova Scotia and we were always picking the wild blueberries. Lot of fun.

    • Mammozon profile image

      Mammozon 5 years ago

      Nova Scotia is on my bucket list...even more strongly now! I've harvested wild blueberries in the North Carolina mountains for years but this year I ordered and planted some of my own. One is called "Pink Lemonade." According to all I've read , I should be able to harvest next summer. Your lens has me even more excited about my potential crop AND about planning a trip to Nova Scotia! Thanks!

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      @goldenrulecomics: You certainly did cover a lot of Nova Scotia. And yes, blueberries are very popular down there, but I didn't know they had blueberry flavoured beer too!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 5 years ago

      If you saw my lens you'll see we didn't get to Oxford when we visited Nova Scotia, but I did try some blueberry-flavored beer in Wolfville! I'll have to check out Oxford next time we go! Nice lens!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I love blueberries and wild ones are absolutely the best!! :)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      I love fresh blueberries.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens. Blueberries are so delicious and nutritious, too.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Indeed 8-)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Wow. Loved learning that Oxford, Nova Scotia is the Blueberry Capital of Canada! Fascinating that such a small community is Canada's largest producer of wild blueberries. Congrats on having this interesting page featured on the Blueberry Monsterboard. Happy National Blueberry Month!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I didn't even know there was a difference between the two kinds of blueberries, interesting.

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      We just drove through Paradise Michigan which is the wild blueberry capital of Michigan. Having grown up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, picking wild blueberries was a tradition. There is nothing that tastes better.

    • lynnasafriend profile image

      lynnasafriend 5 years ago

      mmmm, I love wild blueberries, we had some in Fawcett Alberta when I lived there, but I haven't seen any wild blueberries since then.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      Great lens. I had no ideas blueberries started out white or that they're resistant to fire. That's pretty amazing!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love blueberries! Sounds like a fun place to visit.