Bay of Quinte Tourism

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Meet The Farmers: Palliser Downs

Audrey and James Potts, owners of Palliser Downs Farms in Quinte West, standing side by side on their front porch.

WE’RE ‘BERRY’ EXCITED

A branch with many green leaves and dark blue haskap berries at Palliser Downs.
Photo: James Potts

Haskap berries will be the next big thing, if you ask James and Audrey Potts. The couple, whose farm sits at the intersection of Frankford Road and Highway 62 in Quinte West, started growing this lesser-known berry a few years back. Things at Palliser Downs began with strawberries in 2005, but it’s been these oblong blue gems that are taking over their hearts (and orchards, since 2011).

NEW TO HASKAPS?

To say that the haskap (photographed here by James) is like a blueberry might imply that it isn’t delicious in its own right. Its intensely blue flesh invites the comparison, but it dances on your tongue between tart and sweet with a juicy acidity that keeps you reaching for another handful. The Potts say that the haskap plant is quite resilient in cooler climates. It thrives in the (often) wet conditions of their property and is capable of surviving a chilly frost.

James Potts kneeling on grass underneath bird netting, tending to bushes of haskap berries.
Photo: Audrey Potts

James and Audrey are the very definition of warm and welcoming to farm visitors. They started the farm after closing their used bookstore in downtown Belleville in 2003. But having retired from business ownership and, before that, from teaching careers does not mean they are showing any signs of slowing down.

If the overflowing bookshelves and stacks of books hiding under their coffee table are any indication, James and Audrey are lifelong learners—as well as educators. They are vocal champions for nutrient-dense foods like the haskaps, strawberries, tart cherries, currants and Saskatoon berries they tend so carefully.

Visit Palliser Downs on Facebook here.


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Bay of Quinte Region is an alliance of interdependent communities, bound together by a common history, shared economy, and the water that surrounds and defines us. We hope to welcome you soon.

© 2022 Bay of Quinte Region | © TripAdvisor 2022

Bay of Quinte Region is an alliance of interdependent communities, bound together by a common history, shared economy, and the water that surrounds and defines us. We hope to welcome you soon.