Frequently Ask Questions
The haskap varieties grown in BC were developed from varieties collected from Japan, Russia, Kuril Island and from the boreal forest of Canada.
The rich flavour and deep colour of Haskap adds value to many BC products. You can find Haskap ice cream, jams, fruit toppings, pies, and chocolates. The BC liquour industry are winning awards with Haskap; adding it to beer, wine, spirits and cider across the province. Local BC restaurants and bakeries are incorporating Haskap’s unique taste in savoury sauces and fruit toppings on charcuterie boards.
In comparing other BC grown fruit, Haskap is highest in antioxidants and phyto-nutrients. More Vitamin C per 100g than oranges. Huge amounts of Vitamin A, Potassium and Calcium even.
The berries have a unique taste described as sweet and tangy. They taste amazingly fresh and hold the flavour well in frozen form.
Haskap is an edible blue honeysuckle. The berries are elongated with thin blue skin and teeny tiny seeds. The flesh is a rich deep red colour and has a sweet and tangy taste. The plant grows well in cold-climates and the berries are extraordinarily high in nutrients and antioxidants.
In BC our members are growing over 12 varieties but some of the more common ones are Indigo, Boreal, Aurora and the Honey Bee pollinator all which were developed by the University of Saskatchewan’s cold climate fruit program.
Haskaps grow best in cold-climates and in heavier soil that can hold some water. Their roots grow outward more than down. A mature bush is 4-5 feet tall and about as wide. A wide range of pH is recommended between pH 5-7. This is a hearty plant tolerant to minus 40 degrees below Celcius and budding begins often under snow cover.
Berries are tested for Brix levels and are commonly harvested after reaching at least 15 brix. A mature bush can produce 3-5 kilos of berry and remain productive for decades. Fresh market berries are handpicked and cooled off the field. Berries for processing can be mechanically harvested with machines like those used in commercial blueberry operations.
Haskap require the help of wild pollinators such as mason bees and bumblebees. Honeybees are also drawn to the soft yellow bell-shaped flower and sweet nectar. At least two unrelated varieties, that flower about the same time are needed in order for pollination to develop into a berry.
Currently there is no reason to spray Haskap plants. The only disease reported is powdery mildew which occurs well after harvest. Many of the bugs that plague other crops are too late for Haskap berries which are harvested in early summer. In some areas, birds like Cedar Waxwing, Robins and Starlings are proving to be the biggest pests. The birds arrive in flocks and can strip an orchard right before the berries are quite ripe. Netting has proven an effective method to protect crops and some growers with larger fields are experimenting with drones.
Have a Question?
Do you have a question about Haskap berries? Send them our way and one of our knowledgeable members would be more than happy to provide more information.