Wild or lowbush blueberries are widely grown in Nova Scotia, to the point that the low bush blueberry has been selected as Nova Scotia’s provincial fruit. Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough counties are very productive blueberry growing areas in Nova Scotia.
The export industry of blueberries in northeastern Nova Scotia dates back to at least 1933 when the Tor Bay Canning Company Ltd. began canning blueberries and salt fish. In 1954, a subsidiary of the Tor Bay Company began freezing blueberries in Whitehead, Guysborough County.
In the 1950’s, a number of enterprises began buying up abandoned farm land for the purpose of growing blueberries. The industry expanded in the 60’s and has not looked back. Today, there are approximately 1100 blueberry growers in NS, with 40,000 acres in production. Wild blueberries are the number one fruit crop in acreage, export sales and value in Nova Scotia.
As this industry is so important to the area around Lochaber, it was decided by the Lochaber Community Development Association to have a blueberry festival to showcase the industry and bring area people together, and generate revenue for the LCDA. The festival is held in late August of each year during the harvesting season. Each year there are blueberry desserts, pies, etc. for sale to the public as well as door prizes and a 50/50 draw. The event is being expanded to include entertainment. This event is completely organized and run by volunteers from the area, and the desserts are made locally. The Festival is held at the new Lochaber Community Centre and is expected to draw more and more interested people to Lochaber.
The 2017 Festival will be held on Sunday, August 27th. Bring a friend, everybody is welcome!