Thursday, March 29, 2012

What The Heck Is A Haskap Berry?

That's what I said when Papa Pea announced a month ago that he wanted to order a couple of haskap berry plants this spring. Of course, he came with this proposal armed with propaganda extolling the virtues of this relatively "new" berry.

Seems they have been grown successfully in Canada for some time. The small blue fruit tastes like a cross between a blueberry and raspberry and has twice as many antioxidants as blueberries. (Who doesn't need more antioxidants these days?) The haskaps are sometimes known as honeyberries and grow wild in some areas of Canada, North America and in Japan and Russia. Wine made from haskap berries supposedly has a similar flavor to red grape wine. Such grapes can be difficult to grow in northern climates like ours so the fruit for future wine making would be a definite plus if we could cultivate them here.

Haskaps typically ripen in late June in Canada, a couple of weeks before strawberries. (For us, that would be much earlier than blueberries or raspberries.) Like blueberry bushes, they don't yield much until 3 or 4 years after being planted. Supposedly they bear fruit into August and even into September in cool summers which we often have in our locale.

If you're interested in more info on the haskap berry, you could check out a couple of sites. One is The Haskap Canada Association (www.haskap.ca) or www.honeyberryusa.com.

Well, our cute little haskap bushes-to-be arrived in the mail yesterday. Only problem? We don't really have an area ready for planting them. (None of you can relate to this happening, right?)

We've been wanting to expand our blueberry patch to hold more blueberry bushes. So it seemed like that area would be a good place for our three experimental haskap bushes.

That's why this afternoon Papa Pea dragged me kicking and screaming out of my quilt room so we could plot out the expanded berry patch area. The plan was for Papa Pea to go ahead and dig the holes where we would plant the haskaps even though they will be in the middle of sod that will have to tilled up later this spring as soon as the ground is dry enough.

You can maybe just make out the orange baling twine running across the bottom part of Papa Pea's leg in the above picture. That's how far past (toward me and the camera) where he is digging the holes the sod will have to be tilled up.

This is taken from the other end of the blueberry patch showing the long side that will also have to be tilled.

We try to follow the biodynamic method of planting (going by the moon signs) so when Papa Pea had the holes ready and came in for the haskap plants, it occurred to him to check if it was the right moon sign to plant fruit. Ooops. Last Monday would have been a good day. But not today. Not until after 1 p.m. this coming Monday afternoon or until most of the day on Tuesday.

So he decided to call it quits for today. (On this particular project anyway.) The holes are totally prepared and the plants . . .

. . . will be perfectly fine on our enclosed back porch until next Monday. Now if Mother Nature will just cooperate and not send us a raging blizzard on Monday and Tuesday of next week . . .

P.S. Hop on over to my quilting blog to see who won the three quilting patterns and what (little) I've accomplished in my quilt room today.

16 comments:

Sparkless said...

I've never heard of those before. Thanks for pointing them out. We have four blueberry bushes at then end of our garage but they never produce much fruit anymore. I may just turf them out and try some Haskaps.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I planted Honeyberries last spring and wouldn't you know the male up and croaked on me. Why does that always happen on the things that need male and female pollinators. I hope you have much better luck with your plants :)

judy said...

I NEVER HEARD OF THAT CALENDER,BUT AS I WAS BROWSING THROUGH MAG,AFTER MAG,AT OUR LAST APPT,I JUST GLANCED AT A ARTICLE WITH PINK BLUEBERRIES,MADE ME THINK OF YOUR NEW PLANT.DR. CALLED ,SO I DID NOT READ THE ARTICLE . I AM HOWEVER RESEARCHING THYME FOR MY TEEN GRAND SONS,SUPPOSEDLY IF YOU MAKE A TINCTURE ,IT WORKS BETTER THAN ALL THE ACNE MEDS IN THE COUNTRY( I'LL BE FAMOUS) BUT SOMEONE ELSE ALREADY THOUGHT OF IT.BUT WE ARE GONNA TRY IT. HERE'S TO A GOOD PLANTING DAY FOR YOU" MOTHER NATURE ,YOU WILL DO AS I SAY"

dr momi said...

I planted two of them 2 years ago and lost them. But, I bet you two will keep them alive!

Carolyn Renee said...

I've heard of honeyberries, but not the hacking or whatever berry you called it. Good luck with them! I'd kill them in about two weeks :(

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I wouldn't be surprised if your climate would be just right for the haskaps. Wonder why you blueberries stopped bearing?

Jane - Do you think your climate is a wee bit too warm for them?

judy - There are so many "old" recipes for different cures made with herbs. It's a science in itself. I wish we had had more of that knowledge passed on down through the years.

dr momi - I'll bet your climate was too warm also. But don't feel bad, you can grow tomatoes and we can't!

Carolyn Renee - You're right! They'd never survive in your tropical temperatures!

(Now that you've put that in my mind, I'm gonna be calling them hacking berries. Thanks a lot, Pal!)

MamaTea said...

Well now that my computer will cooperate and post a comment to you...

I don't have a clue what those berries are and I don't care what you call them. If they're good for making wine...they're good for me!!

Mama Pea said...

Mama Tea - What could be better? Just think . . . a glass of wine (or two) with a super-big helping of antioxidants!! I'll drink to that.

Poppy said...

I'm embarrassed to say that I've never heard of BioDynamic Planting! You've peeked my curiousity so I'll be doing some reading tomorrow, Mama Pea! I think I just plant very impulsively (not at all a good quality!) and wonder if there could be a better way.

As always, your postings are informative and interesting! Have a great night!

Qwaynt said...

sleep - melatonin buy at any drug store over the counter

Susan said...

I've just learned three things: hacking berries are good for you; BioDynamic planting is something I MUST do; Papa Pea is mean and dragged (or drugged) you out of your quilting room ON your quilting day, no less.

Mama Pea said...

Poppy - I think you'll find your research on biodynamics very interesting. It's another "old" tried and true, natural idea/philosophy that our modern society has lost track of.

Qwaynt - Thanks, Jean!

Susan - I agree with all three of your points. ;o)

EBH said...

Honeyberries/haskap are self-fertile but they do a great deal better with a pollinator that is a different variety. For more info, see http://ediblebluehoneysuckle.wordpress.com/

Mama Pea said...

EBH - Thanks for the comment . . . we did get a pollinator for that very purpose.

Erin said...

I'm familiar with Honeyberries but I had no idea they were called Haskap LOL! I hope they do well for you!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - With luck, we'll get them set in garden soil this afternoon. I hope they do well for us AND that we like the taste of them!