hang on!

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…vast amounts of haskap berries still hang on to their bushes on August 25th, 2017…these berries are slightly softer than at the beginning of the season, but are still quite turgid and are flavourful and sweet…pictured above are Borealis plants where we removed the netting yesterday from the entire orchard and are letting it dry for a couple of days before packing it away…this netting has lasted six seasons although is mostly worn out…we will pack it away and evaluate it next year and perhaps use it again in conjunction with new netting for even greater protection…

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it was a ball field…

…an acre of ground for my children that we seeded to perennial rye grass and mowed…they played soccer and practised baseball there…but by 2008 they were grown and gone and i asked them if i could convert it to an orchard and they said yes…so i disced it with a discer and then worked on it with a field cultivator and finally used a 3-bottom moldboard plow to cut furrows from east to west for each row…we laid plastic over this and tucked in the edges and then i used a snowplow on the front of my pickup truck to thoroughly cover the edges of the plastic…it was a thoroughly wrong way to go about planting an orchard…but at the time it was the best we could do…

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…we picked up our plants from prairie plant systems…1,000 of them…and worked at hardening them off for a week…and then we loaded them onto a flatdeck along with a water barrel and went down the row using a sharpened spade that i modified, cutting L’s into the plastic, prying out wedges of clay, inserting plants, covering them over, and watering them…it was way more work than we now do…but that was the best we could come up with when it came to equipment…and we watered them almost every day using a 55 gallon drum and a short watering hose, one plant at a time as we drove down each row…

…the rows were set on 20 foot spacings, not optimal for pollination, but was a width that i could drive our hay equipment down in case the summer turned out wet and it became overgrown…all of our plants survived and looked like this by august…we were on our way…

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…by the end of the summer our original EBH non-varietals from the u of sk also looked great…

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…so this is what our field looked like in early july of 2008…and what it looks like as of today…

…it’s a beautiful transition!

using one cup of pulp…

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Following juicing…

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…pulp can be made into jam…

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Using one cup of sugar for every cup of pulp bring this mix to a boil. Stir continuously until it thickens to a jam consistency, at least 20 minutes to a half hour.  Add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice once removed from the heat and stir in well…

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This is a full-flavoured spread, more textured than jam made with whole pureed berries but without any discernible solids as when using un-pureed solid berries…

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