Berries, 2018!

After a very dry spring we got rain…lots of rain.  The berries are hanging in clusters from the selections we planted five years ago…Honeybee and Aurora.  We officially open on Canada Day.  Anyone can come and pick as much as they like for free.  It will be a bumper crop.

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Regenerating Haskap

This spring we started to regenerate the 1,000 plants in our original orchard planted in 2008.  Recommended by Rick Sawatzky we used a chain saw and simply cut every seventh plant off at the ground.  The pessimist in us said that it would take years for the m to come back; the relationship we had with Rick told us that it would be otherwise.  The later won out.  Here is a Borealis that was cu off right at ground level three months ago.  Compare its size and vigour to the plants on either side that are now ten years old.  Good things are yet to come!

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Waxwings

These branches are now empty.  For the past two weeks flocks of waxwings filled the trees and our orchard.  We did not net our plants this year.  Too busy to check mush on the orchard at such an early date we at least knew that they were feeding on green ones.  But last weekend all the birds simply disappeared.  Checking today the plants are still loaded…some ridiculously so.

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Dogs Love Haskap

This one shows our Labrador retriever simply enjoying grazing on haskap at the end of last year.  He doesn’t know where it comes from.  He doesn’t care who planted it.  He just knows that it is there for him and that it tastes delicious.  And that’s the only reason that we grow the stuff.  Non-commercial.  Just for giving away.  And that brings joy to us.  And to those who receive it.

Bon appetite!

Making Haskap Candy For Children

I find great joy in making candy for children.  The candy I make comes from our haskap berries (https://thehaskaporchard.wordpress.com) – we have almost 3,000 plants.  We pick for free distribution among those who have less access to healthy food…and pickers who bother to come here pick for free.  We don’t invite anyone to come and pick; but we welcome all into our lives with equal hospitality.  Nobody pays for haskap…or apples…or cherries.

haskap_berry_1Haskap tastes like a cross between a blueberry and a red raspberry and has a zing that lingers on your tongue for some time after the berry is gone.  Many, many children like haskap.  We’ve had parents who have literally had to drag their kids out of our orchard…picky kids whose parents tell us that their children won’t eat haskap, but they do!  When people come here to pick for free both they and their children are allowed free reign to graze as much as they want while they pick as well.  We want to make this a happy place.

P1000005Carrying this joy into winter is an easy thing and brings us great delight in knowing that those who receive this candy will relish it at an age before they become inculcated that simple joy is far from the most important thing in life.

Making this candy and giving it to children amounts to a tangible, natural liturgy of everything that’s good in the world…far beyond the reach and micro-management of adults.

One box was sent out this morning.  One box will be sent out on Monday.  And another package will ride with us to Mass on Sunday.

Exciting stuff for wonderful people…the children for whom we make hard haskap candy.  It’s by far the most important thing I’ve done so far this year…