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The Wild Blueberry in Oxford Nova Scotia
The wild blueberry grows abundantly in Oxford Nova Scotia. The blueberry is a favourite fruite for many reasons. 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 very healthy fruit.
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 above. 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.
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.
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 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.
Wild Blueberries vs Regular Blueberries
The blueberries in Oxford, Nova Scotia are wild and not cultivated. Blueberries are native to North America and were a nutritional staple of the Native Indians.
So what is the difference between blueberries growing in the wild and blueberries that we cultivate? 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 very significant difference.
Oxford Frozen Foods: Provider of Wild Blueberries
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.
Cooking with Blueberries
Blueberries are powerhouses of nutrition so it makes sense to try to incorporate them into your meals. Try a cookbook dedicated to all things blueberry. This that will give all the information and recipes you need to make blueberries a regular part of your nutrition.
The Beautiful Blueberry
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!
Learn More about Wild Blueberries and Recipes too
- Wild Blueberries
This website is dedicated to providing information about the health benefits of wild blueberries and their history. Some great recipes here too!
- Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Harvest Festival
An annual festival in honour of the wild blueberry. Great recipes here too.
- Canadian Living's Best Blueberry Recipes
A lengthy list of healthy blueberry recipes. Enjoy!
Here is A Vacationer's Visit to Oxford, Nova Scotia
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Explore Nova Scotia tourism and travel guide, featuring accommodations, attractions, outdoors adventures, scenic destinations, hiking trails, festivals and events, photos, whale watching and vacation guides.
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