Algoma Highland Wild Blueberry Farm and Winery

A thriving family farm in Northern Ontario growing to meet demand.

Spectacular, scenic, and epic are a few great ways to describe the drive on Hwy 17 North, from Sault Ste. Marie to Wawa. Along the eastern coast of Lake Superior, it’s been touted as one of the most beautiful drives in Canada. My driving destination was the Algoma Highlands Wild Blueberry Farm & Winery on a warm July summer morning. I had been wanting to visit the farm for a few years now since hearing of its operation. I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to do so recently.

The sandy soil in the Algoma Highlands is perfect for growing not only wild blueberries, but I learned, strawberries, raspberries, as well as potatoes and rhubarb. Back in 2006, Trevor and Tracy Laing saw the potential of a piece of real estate just outside of Wawa, Ontario and decided to take the plunge and become farmers on more than 640 acres of raw land. It already had a large building on the property, once used as a tree nursery. More importantly, the land grew many acres of wild blueberries as a natural crop.

algoma highlands blueberry farm trevor laing
Trevor Laing with strawberries. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)

It’s located just south of the Town of Wawa on Highway 17 (1 Pinewood Drive) in the northern region of Algoma. Trevor took us on a walking and driving tour of his farm. I asked a little about his background and he said he was born and raised in the Wawa area, got a degree in geology, was a forestry contractor, and has extensive experience as a real estate investor. The Laing's, along with their four children, are now first-generation farmers, increasing their farming operation since 2012 with plans to continue to grow the business.

When I arrived, pick-your-own (PYO) strawberry season was nearing the end of the season on the farm. They currently grow five acres of strawberries, and Trevor mentioned that the PYO operation has been successful this year and they will have very little to pick and freeze, as most of the crop will be picked out by customers. PYO raspberries are the next offering up for customers to come and enjoy a quiet setting while picking juicy, sweet berries.

algoma highlands blueberry farm strawberry fields
Strawberry fields. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)
algoma highlands blueberry farm raspberry bushes
Raspberry bushes at Algoma Highlands Wild Blueberry Farm. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)

As for the wild blueberries, they will be ready to harvest soon; however, they are not offered as part of the PYO operation. They are available to customers either as ready-picked or frozen. The berries can be purchased directly from the farm or at numerous outlets throughout Ontario. When I arrived, they were just getting fresh strawberries ready for shipment in a refrigerated truck for a customer in Thunder Bay.

algoma highlands blueberry farm blueberry fields
Blueberry fields. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)
algoma highlands blueberry farm picking carts
Blueberry picking carts. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)

The farm employs about 37 people during peak season. At one time for just a month during blueberry season, but now with the addition of strawberries and raspberries, they can offer more than 2 months of employment on the farm. 

algoma highlands blueberry farm preserves jars
Jars of preserves, ready for labels. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)

The value-added products from Algoma Highlands Wild Blueberry Farm & Winery keep their in-house commercial kitchen busy producing a variety of preserves, including; BBQ Sauce, Blueberry Syrup, Wild Blueberry Jam, Wild Blueberry Jalapeno Jam, Wild Blueberry Moose Radish, Wild Blueberry Sugar-Free Jam and Wild Blueberry Strawberry Butter. Their products can be purchased individually, by the case or in a unique wooden gift packaging from one of the outlets listed online at www.algomahighlands.com

algoma highlands blueberry farm wooden gift package
Wooden gift package. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)

The winery portion of the business has been up and running since 2018. The wine maker is Mandi Ramdhanie. She has been with Algoma Highlands for several years now and is a valued part of the team. Mandi learned her craft from the Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) with an internship at Muskoka Lakes Winery.

algoma highlands blueberry farm wine vats
Wine vats. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)
algomahighlandswine

Fruit wines like Wild Blueberry, Strawberry, and Strawberry/Rhubarb are some of the offerings out of the winery. Wine sales have sky-rocketed over a few short years and are available directly at the farm gift shop during the months of July, August, and September. Ontario customers for wine, can also purchase through the online store through the website.

algomahighlandswine
algoma highlands blueberry farm potato patch
The potato patch. (Photo credit: Greg Cull)

For travellers, the farm is a perfect place to stop and pick up some berries during the season, or buy gifts. Nature enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the Voyageur Trail cuts right through the farm where they may get a sighting of bears, moose, geese, coyotes, and wolves. While the farm is private property, there is road access through it to get to the scenic Scenic High Falls. Visitors are welcome to visit the waterfalls, view rock carvings or visit the old beachfront of Lake Superior (160 feet above current-day lake levels).

new wawa goose monument
(Photo credit: Greg Cull)

It is great to see this Northern Ontario farm and agri-tourism business grow and thrive right here in our own region of Algoma Country.

Algoma Highlands Wild Blueberry Farm & Winery

Trevor and Tracey Laing  
PH: (705) 856-4401  
Web: www.algomahighlands.com  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlgomaHighlandsWildBlueberryFarm  
Instagram: www.instagram.com/algomahighlandswildblueberries  
*Check Social media for hours of operation throughout the season

About Sandra J. Trainor

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sandra is a Freelance Marketing Consultant, specializing in assisting busy small businesses maximize sales and marketing ROI. Sandra recently returned to her hometown, after living and working in the Simcoe County area for more than 30 years. It was there where she developed her passion for local food and agriculture, while working with farmers, producers, farmers’ markets, retailers, and restaurateurs. She believes that food brings people together, no matter what their background and that food grown and produced close to us should be not only supported, but celebrated. In her spare time, Sandra loves to explore area lakes in her kayak and spending time at her cottage on the North Shore.

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