What are haskap berries you may ask?
Haskap berries, a.k.a. honey berries or blue honeysuckles, are a dark blue berry (just like blueberries) that are oblong in shape. Haskap’s are gaining popularity due to their hardiness and nutritional benefits. Coming from Japan and Russia, different haskap varieties are now being developed at the University of Saskatchewan. Already there are at least 5 different varieties available in local nurseries and greenhouses.
Haskaps are extremely hardy, ranking in at zone 2. Plants can over winter in temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celsius. The flowers are hardy down to -7 degrees Celsius which comes in handy because they flower very early. Fruit is harvested mid-June, delightfully early compared to other fruits available in our zone.
Haskap berries turn blue on the outside before they are ripe. Look for a dark purple/red inside for a fully ripe berry. They taste similar to a blueberry but a little more tart. Because the seeds are unnoticeable, haskap berries are great for fresh eating, baking, jam making, wine making or anywhere that you would use blueberries. In terms of nutrition, haskaps are very high in anti-oxidants and have high levels of vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus.
Haskaps need two different varieties for proper pollination so make sure to plant at least two different haskap plants. They are fast growing and produce fruit quickly so plant yours today and you too can enjoy this unique fruit!