I discovered Haskaps a few years ago when my mom told me she had bought a 13 acre farm and was going to plant a bunch of them. This lead me to look into what the heck she was getting herself into and if this meant I had a new “summer job” helping her! Once I got to know what this little berry was I was excited for her journey and that she was bringing over 5000 Haskap bearing bushes to her new hobby farm.
The Haskap, also known as honeyberry, blue honeysuckle, or edible honeysuckle, is a fruit-bearing shrub that is native to northern regions such as Russia, Japan, and Canada. The fruit looks like an elongated blueberry and has a sweet and tangy flavor with a slight hint of tartness and sometime can be mistaken for the better known round blueberry.
Haskaps are different though and they have a multitude of varieties, flavor and texture profiles and they are abundant with wholesome goodness for people to bring into their diets.
Are Haskaps Healthy?
Haskap berries are very high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. They are also low in calories which makes them a healthy snack option. The berries can be eaten fresh, used in jams, jellies, and desserts, topping yogurt or cereals and even blended into smoothies. Haskap are not well known but are becoming increasingly popular due to its unique taste and nutritional benefits.
Haskaps are often considered a superfood due to their high antioxidant content, particularly anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are pigments that give the fruit its blue-purple color and have been linked to various health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular health.
Are Haskap Bushes Easy To Grow
Haskaps can be grown in a range of climatic conditions, but they do best in cooler regions with mild summers and cold winters. My mom’s farm is North of Kamloops BC, Canada and her bushes love the climate where she is. Here are some general guidelines on how to grow your own Haskaps:
- Haskaps prefer well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. They grow best in soil that is rich in organic matter and has good water retention.
- Haskaps require plenty of sunlight to grow and produce fruit. They can tolerate partial shade but do best in full sun.
- Haskaps are usually propagated from cuttings or plants, and they should be planted in the spring or fall. Space the plants about 4-5 feet apart, and plant them in rows that are about 8-10 feet apart.
- Haskaps require regular watering, especially during the growing season. Water the plants deeply and frequently, and ensure that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged.
- Haskaps benefit from regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Haskaps require regular pruning to maintain their shape and promote new growth. Prune the plants in the winter or early spring before the new growth begins.
By following these basic guidelines, you can successfully grow Haskaps and enjoy their delicious and nutritious fruit. Or if you are like me you can hit up your local grower, who happens to be my mom, farmers market or a retailer that carries these awesome berries.
Are There Different Types Of Haskaps
Yes, there are different types of haskaps, and they can vary in terms of their taste, size, and color. Some of the more popular varieties of Haskaps include:
- Borealis: This variety is known for its large berries and sweet flavor.
- Tundra: This variety is known for its high yields and early ripening.
- Indigo Gem: This variety has a unique flavor that is often described as a combination of raspberry and blackberry.
- Aurora: This variety has a mild and sweet flavor, making it a popular choice for fresh consumption.
- Berry Smart Blue: This variety is known for its large berries and high yields.
Each Haskap variety has its own unique characteristics, and choosing the right variety largely depends on personal preference and the growing conditions in a particular region. According to the Haskap Canada Association website there are more varieties out there as well and each has its own characteristics which might suit what you are looking for if this is a berry you want to add to your yard and garden.
Now that you have decided to give Haskaps a try where will you find them? A good place to start would be your local farmers market and talking to growers from your area. They might have connections or leads on where and how to source some Haskaps and if not it might prompt them to look into adding these amazing berries to their offering.
Because the Haskap is still in its early stages of being known as a very healthy addition for your diet finding them in mainstream locations like supermarkets might be difficult. But if you do we would love to hear where you found them in the comments section!