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Fruits and Vegetables Header

The proliferation of strawberry “U-Picks” is a testimony to the popularity and success of fruit production in Prince Edward Island. In July, a trip down a road along a strawberry field is bound to be punctuated by dozens of Island bodies, young and old, crouched between rows of strawberry plants, arms reaching among the bright green leaves to fill giant buckets with the plump, juicy, red berries that will eventually find their way into pies and preserves—as long as they do not go directly into bellies first!

ApplesThe most important fruits grown on the Island are strawberries and blueberries, with revenues from these two crops exceeding $2 million annually as of 1990. In 1997, there were 56 farm operations involved in the production of fruits such as apples, pears, sweet cherries, sour cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, prunes, berries, and grapes. Apple groves represent the largest number of fruit-growing operations. There were 26 apple growers in Prince Edward Island in 1997.
PumpkinsMany other fruit and vegetable crops are grown in smaller scale operations that take advantage of the lower costs of production and the ease of growing mixed vegetables economically on a small acreage. In 1997, there were 167 farms (excluding greenhouse operations) producing vegetables for sale. This type of production, while economical, is labour-intensive and requires a good knowledge of horticulture. Cole crops and root vegetables (see below) grow especially well in Prince Edward Island’s sandy loam and cool, moist climate. These crops account for the majority of vegetable revenues for the 54 vegetable farms on the Island.

Vegetable growers on the Island market their produce either to wholesalers or directly to consumers. Those producing for wholesalers are most likely to specialize in only a few crops. This specialization, combined with larger acreages under production, usually allows growers to rely more on machinery than hired labour. Producers marketing “farm-fresh produce” directly to Farmer's Marketconsumers are most likely to be small, family-run operations selling from local farmer’s markets or roadside stands. Most frequently, these farms owe their success to long-standing reputations; many years spent building relationships with repeat customers, and responsiveness to ever-changing demands. Vegetable crops can be grouped into ten categories:

1.  Perennial crops: asparagus, rhubarb, Jerusalem artichoke.
2.  Potherbs or greens: spinach, collards.
3.  Salad crops: celery, lettuce, parsley, endive.
4.  Cole crops: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi.
5.  Root crops: beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, radish.
6.  Bulb crops: onion, leek, garlic.
7.  Pulse crops: peas, beans (snap and dry).
8.  Solaneceous fruits: tomatoes, eggplant, pepper.
9.  Cucurbits or vine crops: cucumber, muskmelon, pumpkin, squash, melons.
10. Sweet corn.

Beekeeping, greenhouse operations and bedding plants production offer a fine complement to fruit and vegetable growing on the Island. In 1997, there were 53 greenhouse operations and mushroom growers as well as 22 nursery operators and sod producers in the province.

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Potatoes | Field Crops | Beef and Dairy | Swine
Poultry and Eggs | Emerging Commodities | Beekeeping