Haskaps are fast growing, edible fruits with beautiful flowers beloved of bees
Sitting in a restaurant focusing on local ingredients, CSL’s resident gardener smeared her bread with haskap butter. The faint purple colour and hint of sweetness had her hooked.
Thereafter, she researched the plant extensively, narrowing her search to the Oregon-bred, Yezberry haskap from Proven Winners. Dr. Maxine Thompson worked with a hardy Japanese variety to produce the oval shaped, purple berry noted for its antioxidants (even more than blueberries) and vitamin C.
Asked why she chose Yezberry, CSL’s gardener responded, “first, they are easy to grow. Second, they are extremely delectable. Third, they are conducive to our climate.” One month after planting, the yezberry haskaps had each grown 1-2 inches of new shoots and this vigorous growth is another part of their appeal.
For abundant fruit, ensure you buy 2 Yezberry haskaps and plant them within 25’(7.6m) of one another. Look for recipes and photos in upcoming issues of CSL.
HOW TO PLANT?
“There are three important requirements for success with a flowering tree or shrub: Good air circulation, good sun exposure, good drainage,” advises Bruce Minter, owner of Chilliwack-based nursery, Minter Country Garden.
Minter suggests preparing the planting area with 14-16” (35- 40cm) of soil composed of equal parts bark mulch and good soil. “The better you prepare the hole and plant the shrub, the better it will grow for you.”
Yezberry haskaps may require bird netting. Prune only after 3 years and only after harvesting as the plants flower on old wood.
>> To buy Yezberry: Minter Country Garden; mintergardening.com
Yezberry Solo Japanese Haskap Lonicera caerulea, provenwinners.com
Yezberry Sugar Pie Japanese haskap Lonicera caerulea, provenwinners.com
This original healthy living article first appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.