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Palliser Downs

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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).

a tree filled with lots of blue berries.


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 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.

a man in a straw hat picking berries from a bush.
an open book with a pencil sticking out of it.

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The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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