Roger and Valerie Kelly have lived on their small farm surrounded by the beautiful forested hills north of Bancroft, Ontario for over 30 years. The farm has clean air and water and is home to a wide diversity of wild plant and animal species. Growing seasons are short with cool night temperatures, even at times in mid-summer.
Roger and Valerie make every effort to preserve and encourage the natural balance around them while making their living growing fresh blueberries for local customers. "An Ontario Department of Agriculture program in the early 1980's gave us our start in learning to grow and market a crop new to cultivation—the native Canadian lowbush blueberry," said Valerie. "The Lowbush Blueberry New Crop Development Fund helped us to establish our first acre of blueberries. Since the program ended we have continued to adapt growing methods and equipment to our climate and situation. Over the years we have expanded our blueberry planting to four acres."
Kellys' Berry Farm is one of the few farms in Ontario growing lowbush blueberries. Their managed planting is designed to be harvested by customers coming to the farm to pick their own berries. Pre-picked berries can be ordered and will be supplied as weather and labour availability permit through July and August. Other farm products include homemade jam made entirely from the wild and cultivated berries grown on the farm. Farm tasks continue year round and include all aspects of production and marketing. Part time employees assist during the harvest season. "We feel privileged to be able to work together in such a beautiful natural setting," said Valerie Kelly.