Haskap Syrup

A pleasant haskap topping for vanilla ice cream can be had by combining:

3 cups haskap
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
3 Tblsp. corn starch

Cook over medium heat until thick.

Early One Morning

Two men, first light, a modified child’s wading pool, a whiffle bat, one and a half hours, six gallons of haskap.  Easy.  Beautiful berries.


Regenerating Haskap (2)

This spring we began regenerating our orchard in earnest, although not as much as we should have.  Cutting off the bushes at ground level with a saw blade that can be sharpened on the end of our Stihl trimmer it made for easy work.  The bushes were gathered into a brush pile and burned.  Doing so made these roots produce new shoots prolifically.  Plants that we experimented on doing so with from last year produced berries this year, not in abundance, but they produced nevertheless.  And plants that we trimmed early in the spring this year came back with a vengeance this year.  This fall we will have to do a lot more trimming in order to get this orchard on a rejuvenation regimen, perhaps cutting every other plant in the original orchard?  This will still give us berries next year and will make harvesting the older plants easier as well as thickening the plants themselves in the future.

Plants trimmed this year and last year…

Transplanted Berry Blue

Some time in early November of 2011 or 2012 full sized Berry Blue honeyberry bushes were ripped out of an orchard using a tractor and chain.  Three days later I planted them in our orchard.  I left them as they were the next year, but they only had a couple of new shoots coming from their roots, their branches were non-viable.  I left them this way for the next year as well.  They did not grow.  A year later (2015) I mowed them off at ground level. In 2016 they finally came to life.  And this year they are finally established and producing in bare dirt.



Berry Wagon

In the past we have always moved our equipment to the field piecemeal.  We harvest by hand.  This involves a lot of trips.  And while the orchard is right outside our door it is still a bother.  So this week I took a day and built a flat deck onto an old running gear from a truck that we had sitting in disuse.  I added a substantial rear rumble-seat deck onto the back that is large enough to hold our generator we use.  Now everything can be taken to the field at one time and moved with us easily as we proceed down each row.  I used a mix of pine tar, linseed oil, and serpentine to seal the deck.  It gives it a rich colour and is non-petroleum based.  The deck is five and a half feet wide and sixteen feet long made out of scrap one inch spruce lumber I had laying around.  The generator deck is made of two inch spruce and is three and a half feet deep and five and a half feet across.

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.


Regenerating Haskap (1)

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!