Haskap

img_0261_1Its scientific name is Lonicera caerulea, although its commonly known as: honeyberry, edible blue honeysuckle (EBH), or haskap.  The more refined selections now being grown across Canada now number in the hundreds of thousands, although it is still new enough that it is relatively unknown to the public, in spite of having been widely covered by news sources.

We first planted EBH early as 2006.  We have been steadily adding to our orchard yearly.  Our orchard is located in Zone 1b, Class E soil (heavy clay) and currently contains 2,617 plants including: HASKAP (U of SK) – Borealis, Tundra, Indigo Gem, Indigo Yum, Honey Bee, Aurora; HONEYBERRIES – Berry Blue, Blue Velvet OP crosses, and EASTERN HEMISPHERE ANCESTRY OP SELECTIONS – Amfora, Dimzas, Fialka, Leningradski Velikan, Kitoy, Morena, Nymfa, plus OUR OWN EBH NON-VARIETALS grown from seed.

img_2942

This bush produces a berry that looks like an oblong blueberry.  The taste of this fruit is most commonly described like a cross between a blueberry and a red raspberry.  Mildly tart, it is also high in sugar.  In the end it is its own taste.

DSC00027

But there is another side to this fruit.  Its meat is coloured a deep purple-red, and looks like a deep, rich red wine…only more concentrated.  When used as a dye it is colour fast, given the right treatment.  This opens up a whole other area for its use; home dyeing.  It is a beautiful colour for wool and llama fibre.  Its colouration varies with the light.

dsc00004

*Note: Haskap stains everything that it touches.  Stain from hands and utensils can be easily removed using lemon juice.  Stain can many times be unable to be removed from plastic utensils.

Advertisements