Haskaps & Honeyberries
Lonicera caerulea All Haskaps are Honeyberries, therefore, we'll refer to them all as Honeyberries for the rest of this article. Chances are you've never heard of these berries and if you have it's only been very recently. That's because they are a relatively new berry to Canada, considering the plants take 5 to 6 years to reach their mature potential.
Canadians really have Dr. Bob Bors, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan to thank. In the late 1990's Dr. Bors and his research team began planting, testing and breeding plants that have now, almost 20 years later produced berries with incredible taste that have shown to be a great addition to the the Canadian berry market. Haskaps were developed and named at the University of Saskatchewan. The breeding program, cross breeds honeyberry plants from Japan, Russia and the Kuril Islands.
Our initial planting in 2016 were Aurora, Borealis & Tundra varieties. In 2017 we added the three Boreal Series: Beauty, Blizzard & Beast. Each variety is slightly different in size and shape but all are incredibly delicious and super nutritious.
Taste is first on our list. With a flavour similar to a Raspberry/Blueberry mix and a hint of Saskatoon berry. Next is their amazing nutritional value. And of course their growth schedule. Once the snow leaves the orchard our Honeyberries are on a marathon, producing blooms early in April. Berries soon start forming and by mid June, the earliest varieties are ready to pick at our location in East Kelowna, BC. We have seven varieties that cover an early, mid and late harvest schedule that runs for approximately three to four weeks. We carefully hand pick, sort and clean all our berries to ensure optimum care for our customers.
Last but not least is their versatility ... so delicious, in so many ways.
What can you do with Haskaps & Honeyberries?
- Enjoy eating them fresh
- They also freeze extremely well
- Make Jams and Jellies
- Juice and Syrups
- Delicious in Gelato, Ice Cream, Yogurt, Smoothies
- Craft Beers, Liqueurs and Wine
- If you've made it (or eaten it) with blueberries, raspberries or any other berries, then it will be great with Honeyberries.
It's nice to eat something you enjoy that is also good for you. In Japan, the ancient Ainu People called this berry 'Haskapas' which means 'The Berry of long life and good vision'. Today in Japan it's referred to as the 'Fruit of Longevity'. This purple powerhouse is considered a superberry because it is rich in anthocyanins, phenolic acids and Isoprenoids. It's a chart topper for antioxidants!
Organic Farming and Harvesting Practices
Our focus is and always will be organic and has been since inception. Our land was natural vegetation when we started and we prepared, planted and have maintained our plants following the Canadian standards for Organic growing. Our 2020 harvest is British Columbia Certified Organic by SOOPA (Similkameen Okanagan Organic Producers Association).
Honeyberry Acres uses no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Weeds are hand picked. This labour intensive process is ongoing throughout the growing season. This makes the picking season much cleaner and more efficient.
Drought tolerant sheep fescue grass is grown between our berry rows eliminating the need for less efficient overhead watering. Our farm utilizes time controlled drip irrigation and a 1300 litre rain barrel collection system.
Our plant based composting system provides us with a rich, energy packed compost for our crops. Compost teas and foliar sprays add micro organisms to our soils and aid with biological pest control.
Prior to harvest we cover our plants with small opening sized bird netting to prevent the chance of birds getting caught or injured while trying to help themselves to our delicious berries.
We follow 'Good Manufacturing Practices' (GMP), ensuring our crops are contaminate free with the utmost integrity to provide safe food for our customers.
Honeyberry Acres is committed to the highest care and attention in providing safe, super nutritious foods. Our guarantee to our customers: "The food we grow is the food we eat".