Have you heard of Haskap berries? Do you know what they are? Have you ever tasted them on their own or in something? Health benefits of the haskap have earned it the ancient phrase “the berry of long life and good vision”. I’ve tried a few products made with Haskap berries and have read a lot about this “superfood”, which is higher in antioxidants than blueberries, but have never tried them on their own, or gone picking…until now! 🙂
I was excited to go visit South Shore Farms after meeting owner and entrepreneur David Eisnor, who after 17 years in the city, recently moved back to the South Shore to live full-time. David’s interest in having a Haskap U-Pick was always around getting people involved and contributing to our local economy. When David talks about his vision for the farm, the word “community” comes up more than once. With hopes to market more goods, David also has lavender fields and beehives at the farm .
South Shore Farms, located at 3228 Upper Branch Road hosted an Open Farm Day and opened their Haskap U-Pick for the first time on July 8th. I love a good u-pick and have shared links for strawberry picking on the South Shore, and now I can add Haskap picking to my summer calendar. 🙂
South Shore Farms have 5 acres of Haskap planted and now in their 3rd year have opened their U-Pick. As part of their Open Farm Day sampling they had some berries, jam, muffins and yogurt to sample. I loved it all!
Netting covers their fields to protect the berries from birds, but had rows uncovered for their u-pick. There are 7 different varieties of Haskap planted at South Shore Farms. The bushes at this time are low to the ground, but will get higher over time, similar to a high bush blueberry, depending on the variety.
The berries look almost like a misshapen blueberry and are quite delicate. If they are ripe they will fall off easily when you are picking. The Haskap berry has a slightly tart taste described as a cross between a raspberry and blueberry with the texture of a kiwi.
I’m planning to visit the U-pick once more to try to put some in the freezer for smoothies, muffins, etc. It will feel great to have some of these berries and products put away for the fall/winter when we will appreciate the extra benefit of those anti-oxidants. The Haskap U-Pick at South Shore Farms continues all this week from 8:00am-12:00pm. You can follow their Facebook page for updates or to ask any questions you might have.
I’m so happy for us to have another U-Pick option here on the South Shore and love David’s enthusiasm and vision for South Shore Farms. I can’t wait to see how the farm develops and to watch Haskap become another common crop. I’d love to know if you go Haskap picking this year! Leave a comment and tell me what you think of the berries. 🙂