Prince Edward Island is a great place to farm. The Island has a total land area of 1.4 million acres with approximately 620,000 acres cleared for agricultural use.
Agriculture is very important to the rural way of life on P.E.I. with 3.9 percent of the population living on farms; 1.7 percent higher than the national average. The 2011 census listed 1,495 farms primarily engaged in growing crops and raising livestock on P.E.I. These farms range in size from a few acres to 3,000 acres.
Agriculture is one of the Island\'s primary resources and has been for many years. The early Mi'Kmaq people who were native to the Island were hunters and gatherers, and it was the French who brought farming with them when they settled in the first few decades of the 1700s.
The principal crop in PEI is potatoes with approximately 85,000 acres being planted annually. Prince Edward Island potatoes are grown for the fresh table market, for seed potatoes and for processing into frozen potato products and chips.
The potatoes are sold nationally and internationally.In the past Grains and Oilseeds were primarily grown in rotation with potato crops, with the recent increase in price for grains and oilseeds these crops are increasingly being grown for specific markets. Wheat, grain corn, oats, barley, soybeans and mixed grain are all planted on the Island. The total value of the 2010 grain and oilseed crop was estimated to be $14.9 million.Fruit production is very diverse on Prince Edward Island. Wild blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, apples and other specialty fruits including raspberry, gooseberry, rose hips, black currant, grapes, high bush blueberry and the haskap berry are all grown on PEI.Beef production is a part of 35 percent of Prince Edward Island farms. PEI Beef is highly sought after with many of the country's top chefs and butchers featuring it in their restaurants and shops.Vegetables are an important cash crop for many Island farmers. Cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, rutabaga, carrots, onions and cabbage are sold to local, national and international markets.There are approximately 200 dairy farms on Prince Edward Island supplying the domestic market with milk and other dairy products. Breeding stock and embryos are sold to dairy farms across Canada and internationally.There are approximately 25 farms on P.E.I. producing more than 80,000 hogs annually.Organic farming is continuing to expand across Prince Edward Island. There are approximately 55 certified producers in the province who produce crops and/or raise livestock.
The name "clam" covers a wide variety of bivalve molluscs found along Canada's Atlantic coast. Main species in the commercial catch include the soft shell clam, the bar or surf clam, and the quahaug.Read More
Bluefin tuna occur in the subtropical and temperate waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. In the Atlantic, they are found from Labrador and Newfoundland in the northwest through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil. The bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is the largest member of the Scombridae family. The bluefin is generally black, metallic blue (nearly black) on the back, shading to silvery white on the belly.Read More
American eels (Anguilla rostrata) are migratory species that travel long distances. Its native Canadian range includes all fresh water, estuaries and coastal marine waters that are accessible to the Atlantic Ocean. They are one of the few species that breed in salt water but spend the majority of their life in fresh water. The American eel is elongate and serpentine, with a single continuous dorsal fin extending posteriorly from a point about one third of the body length behind the head and around to the vent. Eels can range in colouration from yellowish greenish to olive brown, or from bronzy black with a silvery below depending on age.Read More
Furcellaria (Furcellaria lumbricalis), which is commonly found in mixed populations with Irish Moss, usually grows attached to rocks and stones in shallow subtidal areas of depths up to 20 meters, in sheltered to moderately covered coastlines. It can also be found growing in rockpools and be found on the shoreline after strong winds. Furcellaria is most commonly used in the food industry as a source of furcellaran, similar to carrageenan and used as a gelling and thickening agent. Fucellaran is used in food products including jams and other preservatives, fruit juices, meat and fish preparations as well as brewing beer. Furcellaria ranges in color from reddish-brown to brownish black. The seaplant can grow up to 30cm in length.Read More
The Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) are distributed widely throughout the northern Atlantic. Significant numbers swim off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Gulf of St. Lawerence and Nova Scotia. The Atlantic halibut belongs to the Pleuronectidae family whose members usually have both eyes on the right side of their bodies. The halibut's colouration varies from greenish brown to very dark chestnut. Halibut are the largest of the flatfish, in the wild they can grow to a length of 2.5 meters and weight more than 300kg.Read More
The Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is one of the widely known open sea fish on Canada's east coast. In the northeast Atlantic, the Atlantic herring ranges from Northern Labrador and Greenland to North Carolina. The Atlantic herring is a member of the Clupeidae family found in many parts of the world. It has a streamlined, elongated body, much deeper than it is thick, with an iridescent steel-blue or greenish blue back and silvery sides and belly.Read More
Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) is a small seaplant that looms large in the make-up of many of our favourite foods and useful products. When we consume ice cream, chocolate milk, salad dressings, beer, or use insect sprays, water-based paints, shampoos, toothpaste or cosmetics, we are almost certain to be using carrageenan, a starch-like, non-caloric substance extracted from Irish moss. Irish moss is a perennial plant with many branches near the top. It ranges in colour from yellowish green to brown to reddish purple, and grows attached to rocks to heights of three to seven inches. It is found from the low tide mark to approximately 30 feet of water.Read More
Lobster is the crown jewel of the Prince Edward Island seafood industry. Prince Edward Island lobster (Homarus americanus) is famous across the world. Wild-caught in the pristine North Atlantic Ocean during the peak of quality, Prince Edward Island Lobster is known for hard shells and tender juicy meat. Delicious Prince Edward Island lobster has a distinct position in the world lobster market as a gourmet delicacy. Lobster catch is divided into two categories, either as canners or markets, in accordance with size. Generally canners weigh between 1/2 and 3/4lb (275-375g) while markets weigh over 3/4lb (375g). These smaller lobsters are preferred by true connoisseurs for their tender and flavourful characteristics. Approximately seventy five percent of Prince Edward Island lobsters are harvested in this category.Read More
The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a small, migratory fish which is found in the western Atlantic ranging from Newfoundland and Labrador to North Carolina. Atlantic mackerel frequent Prince Edward Island waters from June to October. Although Atlantic mackerel is a close relative of the giant bluefin tuna, it normally ranges from 30 to 45cm in length and generally weighs from 500g to 2kgs. Mackerel have a firm, streamlined body which is a dark wavy blue on the back and upper sides, shading to a silvery white on the belly.Read More
Mussels (Mytilus edulis), cultured in the cool clean waters surrounding Prince Edward Island, are one of North America's most popular seafoods. As well as being tasty, Prince Edward Island mussels are nutritious. They are particularly rich in protein and minerals while being low in fat and cholesterol. Cultured mussels are grown in mesh stockings that are suspended from longlines (ropes) in the water. The ideal conditions promote rapid growth, cultured mussels taste sweeter, are more tender, are plumper, and as a result have a higher meat yield than their wild counterpart. Mussels are bivalve shellfish. At harvest they are generally two to three inches in length. The shell is primarily a blackish colour with bluish highlights and has an elongated triangular shape.Read More
Prince Edward Island oysters (Crassostrea virginica) freshly shucked and served on the half shell, are a delicacy in high demand around the world. The flavour of Prince Edward Island oysters reflects the water quality, minerals, salinity, and the type of nutrients available in the water. Prince Edward Island has a variety of different bays and coves that provide numerous distinct tastes profiles for the oyster connoisseur. Oysters are scientifically classified as molluscs. Protecting their soft bodies is a hard shell made up of two valves which are joined by a hinge. The majority of oysters have a shell color that is primarily a mixture of grey, green, white, and brown, with a smooth white interior.Read More
The name 'clam' covers a wide variety of bivalve molluscs found along Canada's Atlantic coast. Quahaugs (Mercenaria mercenaria) are found from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence south to the Gulf of Mexico.Read More
Rock crab (Cancer irroratus) is distributed throughout the northwest Atlantic Ocean from Labrador to Florida. Rock crab is available in most fishing areas off Prince Edward Island. Rock crab is a crustacean that has a broad, oval carapace with nine shallow, smooth edge teeth along each side of the front region of the carapace. Their shells range from light brown to dark brown and they generally have purple spots.Read More
Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) are known for their matchless qualities as game and food fish. Mature wild salmon weigh between 2 and 10kg, but have occasionally exceeded 15kg.Read More
The sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus), also called the giant scallop, is the most commercial species of molluscan shellfish in Canada. Sea scallops are found in the northwest Atlantic. The sea scallop is a bivalve that is highly sought after for its meat. Both shells are round, almost equal in diameter, and are held together by a comparatively small straight hinge. The lower valve is flatter, smooth, and white or cream in colour, while the upper one is arched and usually reddish. The inner surfaces of both valves are smooth and pearly white, and have a satin-like lustre.Read More
The Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia) ranges from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida. Silversides are usually found near the shore and in brackish ponds and estuaries along the coast of Prince Edward Island. The Atlantic silverside is a small fish that is usually no longer than 6 inches. The fish is greyish-green in color on top and translucent white on the underside. The silverside gets its name from the metallic silver strip that runs along both sides of its body.Read More
Populations of the American or rainbow smelt are widely distributed throughout eastern and western North America. They can travel between freshwater and the marine environment, but spawn in freshwater. The American smelt (Osmerus mordax) is a slender, silver fish, with a pale green or olive-green back. These fish are generally less than 20cm long, although some measuring 35cm have been found.Read More
Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) is the most important commercial crab species in eastern Canada and an important component to Prince Edward Island's fishing economy. Snow crab thrives in the cool pristine waters off Prince Edward Island. Snow crab is harvested off the North Shore in the Gulf of St. Lawerence. The Atlantic snow crab is a crustacean (like lobster and shrimp) that is highly prized around the world for its succulent meat. Once cooked, the shell turns to a vivid orange and the meat has a firm texture with a sweet and flavourful taste.Read More
Soft shell clams (Mya arenaria) are found in protected coastal embayments from Labrador to North Carolina. Soft shell clams are found on Prince Edward Island throughout bays and estuaries. The outer shell of the soft shell clam has a chalky white appearance. The surface of the shell is covered with somewhat elliptical markings, some more pronounced than others. These are the annual growth marks or rings which can be used to aid in aging clams. In general, the shell reaches a maximum size of about 10cm in length but some have been reported to exceed 15cm. In order to be harvested Prince Edward Island soft shell clams must at least 5 cm in size.Read More
The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a native of western North America it was introduced into Prince Edward Island in 1925. The rainbow trout prefers cool lakes, ponds, and streams, but can tolerate warm water and may migrate to sea. The rainbow trout is also commonly used for fish farming.Read More