Haskap berries gaining popularity
Nova Scotia is well known for its blueberries, but the popular fruit may be able to face a new competitor. It turns out that the region is perfectly suited to the cultivation of the haskap.
The fruit, oblong in shape, popular in Japan and said to taste somewhere between a blueberry, blackberry and a raspberry, grows well in the province due to the cold winter and wet spring conditions.
What’s more the plant is appealing to growers in the area as it bears fruit much earlier than the blueberry and can be cultivated using existing materials.
"[The haskap berry] certainly has a lot of positive prospects as an up-and-comer," said Minister of Agriculture John MacDonell.
In the seven months since it began offering them, Bridgewater-based LaHave Natural Farms, the largest haskap purveyor of its kind in Atlantic Canada, has taken orders for 55,000 plants to 98 different large and small farms, hobbyists and gardening clubs in Nova Scotia and the U.K., and is currently working on haskap juices, jams, wines, liqueurs and even antioxidant face scrubs.
MacDonnell says though, that there is no danger of the blueberry being driven ot of town by the newcomer. he thinks the diversification can only be good for the agricultural sector in the region, serving to complement existing crops and extending the season for those involved in the production of both fruits.