Category Archives: Haskap
This morning I made an unexpected discovery. While checking my an email address that I haven’t used for months, I found that my brother-in-law had emailed me some photos that he had taken last June of the haskap/honeyberry plants I had planted at his farm about five years ago. The photos were taken last year, so these plants are four years old. Have a look…
Do you have any pictures of haskap/honeyberries? Post them in your comments below!
I may try to transplant some of them to my new place in town this fall. We’ll see how that goes.
As promised earlier, here are a few haskap/honeyberry pictures. These were four inch seedlings about three years ago. They have been grossly neglected, but they seem to be doing just fine. This is the first year to get a significant crop of berries.
A close up of a berry.
Not so close up of several berries – I see about 12 ripish berries.
This is right on the southwest side of the deck – it’s a solid three feet tall.
This is out kinda in the middle of the lawn. It’s starting to make a nice hedge.
All I can say is WOW! These haskap are amazing! As most of you know, I moved last summer and had to leave behind my haskaps just as they were starting to produce. I got a few small handfulls from my two dozen plants. Well, just yesterday I went back to visit my brother-in-law (who now lives at my old place) and saw the haskap. I was blown away! The plants had more than doubled in size this year and were covered in little berries. Most were green still, but there were some ripe enough for a taste test. It was a slow start, but wow what a jump from 2008 to 2009! I’ll certainly be planting more haskap at my new place!
Sorry about the old picture – this is actually a picture of last year’s berries. I didn’t have my camera with me on this trip, but I’ll sure try to get out there again for a few pictures!
Yes, it’s true. I’ve been eating haskap berries this past week. Not bucketfuls, but small handfuls anyway. At this point, only my Cinderella variety have ripe berries. The others are still coming. It’s interesting to note that there are far more berries on the Cinderella variety than either the Berry Blue or Blue Bell, but the Berry Blue plants have grown probably two or three times as large this year.
None the less, there are berries out there and some are ripe. Most of them are quite tart, though I may be rushing things in the way of ripeness. My measure of ripeness has been to let them get a dark purple color, then to give a slight tug on the berry and if it pops off easily, then it must be ripe. If it wants to stay attached a little longer – I let it stay.
I never did get any netting put over them, but I don’t think the birds have discovered them yet. We’ll see how long that lasts…
I took a talk around our yard today and was pleased to notice that my haskap plants were covered in little green berries.
It won’t be long before I put up the netting around them to protect them from the birds. Man, am I excited to eat a big bowl of these things in a few weeks!
Back in November I wrote a post called “Introduction to Haskap Berries (aka Honeyberries)“. Currently, this post is the most viewed post on this site – by far. And so I thought it would be appropriate to give you all an update on how my haskap are growing this year.
Actually, they’re doing quite nicely. In fact, they’ve been blossoming for about three days now.
I have my haskap growing in two locations. The flowers above are from the bushes on the west side of the house. They are a little more protected, have pine bark mulch around them, and seem to have the most flowers – or perhaps just the earliest flowers.
The other haskaps pictured below are on an east-facing hill with no shelter and are mulched in old hay. I don’t see as many flowers on them, but they are doing well none the less.
There should be honeyberries (haskap berries) ready to pick by mid to late June. I’ll hopefully get a chance to update you before then – perhaps when I put on my bird netting a couple of weeks prior to picking.
Any other good haskap pictures out there? I’d love to see ‘em. Drop me a line!
If you’ve never seen haskap before, this whole article is going to seem very strange to you. So before I go and tell you what haskap is, let me show you what haskap looks like.
What is Haskap?
Haskap is an amazingly hardy, fast growing, high yielding, great tasting berry bush that is relatively new to North America. It is an edible honeysuckle that originates from Siberia and can be found in Russia, China, and Japan. It goes by the name ‘Honeyberries’, ‘Blue Honeysuckle’, and ‘Haskap’. Recently, it has been developed at the University of Saskatchewan by Dr. Bob Bors for commercial production.
What makes Haskap so remarkable?
Haskap has several features that make it stand out from among all other fruits.
Coming from Siberia, it is extremely hardy. It can withstand winter temperatures of -47° Celsius. Not only that, but its open flowers can endure -7° Celsius. They are the earliest to fruit in the season, usually in mid to late June – even earlier than strawberries.
#2. Early & High Yield
One of the greatest thing about Haskap is that it doesn’t take seven years to start producing. My seedlings were planted in the spring of 2006 and I ate my first fruit in June 2007. In the studies at the University of Saskatchewan, they were yielding 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) per plant in their 3rd year and 4 kg per plant in their 6th year. The picture below is a three-year old plant in the test patch at the University of Saskatchewan.
#3. Unique Flavor
Haskap is unlike any other fruit you’ve tried. Some have compared it’s taste to blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, saskatoons, and black current. The flavor seems to vary with varieties. They are most often compared with blueberries, but without the seeds. The seeds are similar to that of kiwis, so you don’t even notice them. As for it’s uses, basically anything you would do with blueberries, you could also do with haskap – eat them fresh, in baking, as jams & jellies, frozen, or whatever else you may think of.
You can learn more about Haskap by visiting these sites:
Or you can buy Haskap plants from DNA Gardens in Elnora, Alberta.
Edited: June 1, 2008