we planted some apples

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,,,working with rick sawatsky at the u of sk hort field lab…getting training on caring for apples…

…with 70-some plants – non-varietal edible blue honeysuckles – purchased from the u of sk in the summer of 2005…we had become a part of their fruit cooperators program a few years before…starting with university numbered varieties we planted what would become the first half of our apple orchard in 2003…so we stuck these EBH into a few extra holes in the ground next to our apples and waited…but they never did anything……just sat there in 2005 and 2006 like sticks in the ground…looking back we now realize what we did wrong…they were strangled by grass and received precious little water during both springs…the good news is that we did not kill them!

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…rick with their most advanced ebh at the time in the hort field lab…early non-varietals…

…in the late winter/early spring of 2007 i was thoroughly frustrated with our EBH and the night before i left for a job in b.c. i went into the orchard and chopped them out of the frozen ground with a pickaxe…and put them into new ground – with a pickaxe – which was located downhill from our bush where the snow was still deep…and then i left for a couple of weeks…and when i returned?…the plants had come alive and jumped a whole foot…!!!…

… and so we purchased an – expensive for us – roll of plastic woven weed barrier and put it over them and dug it in as best as we could and we were on our way…

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…going from 2-yrs of being sticks in our apple orchard…transplanted in 2007 to this new location…naturally watered each spring from snow melt in our bush up the hill,,,this is how they looked in the summer of 2008…

…we were convinced of their viability…tried to order plants in 2007 which were all sold out…and so we put our order in and waited for the spring of 2008…we attended the formational meeting of haskap canada and signed on enthusiastically…we had no notion of what lay ahead…it was simply a bold adventure and a chance to be in on the groundwork of something very healthy and untried and that needed people who were willing to experiment with and promote…

…a clear winner!

…this is clayton wiebe…he was a malt barley researcher at the u of sk…we met and became friends at the first annual meeting of haskap canada way back when…he’s a wizard…perhaps even a grand-wizard when it comes to haskap…

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…he was already engrossed in all-things edible-blue-honeysuckle (EBH)…and he grew some open pollinated (OP) seeds off of his blue velvets that he had in his test plots…

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…and of course anyone can grow EBH from seed…i’ll show how some day…anyway…he had all of the blue velvet that he wanted to get rid of…about 70 and he told me that he was going to rip them out and throw them away…gasp…so i drove out and we meticulously placed them all in pots…and they came home in october of 2011 i think…and we put them in holes in the ground in a nondescript area and just let them be…these are they on the right…best bushes in the whole orchard…meaning full and thick and productive…

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…and of course they are each one different than the next because they are OP…but one of these bushes wins the prize for being the earliest to be furthest into version…

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…and even this undeveloped they taste pretty darn good…looks like the haskap season is on here in zone 1b/2a…