Haskap berries are gaining recognition in the North American market after being celebrated for generations as “the elixir of life” by Japanese Ainu aborigines. Beyond the nutritional benefits and appealing taste to consumers, Haskap present many advantages to growers at any scale. Phytocultures’ varieties and breeding efforts in particular intend to maximize the beneficial properties and production efficiencies, including superior hardiness, yield, taste, ease of harvest, and growth performance.
- Are widely adaptable to all soil types, tolerant of pH levels from 4.5 to 8.5, extremely cold hardy and frost tolerant, pest and disease resistant, suited to organic production, and very easy to grow. Frost-tolerant flowers are ideal for native pollinators.
- Are one of the first spring fruits available to market, ripening early- to mid-June.
- Offer economic advantages as a sister crop for other berries that will extend growing seasons and diversify production while maximizing existing infrastructure, labour, and equipment. Have comparable planting, fertility, and pruning requirements to highbush blueberries.
- Offer huge market potential as a superfruit with many opportunities for value-adding in both culinary and medicinal industries, including wine, juice, preserves, powders, drying, freezing, food dye, and much more.
- Have exceptional nutritional properties – including higher antioxidant content than blueberries – that appeal to today’s consumers as well as producers, manufacturers, and distributors. They cater to today’s evolving customers seeking antioxidant rich, tasty, versatile berries that can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or processed.
Rapid Foliage Development:
These plants develop foliage and flowers rapidly in the spring, when conditions are favourable. The following two photos of a Haskap plant were taken 10 days apart.
Haskap plants are first plants to develop leaves and flowers as spring develops. Highly tolerant of spring frosts for both leaves and flowers green tips are usually evident before winter snows have completely dissappeared.
The interesting point from these photos would be rapid foliage development. Greenhouse managers and nurses managers would need to know this information as a rapid green flush of growth would necessitate shipping and management practices specifically for HASKAP.