The Haskap berry plant is a hardy shrub belonging to the honeysuckle family. It thrives in cooler climates and can withstand harsh winters, a trait making it ideal for Alberta's temperate zones. The plant produces dark blue, almost black, berries, typically ripening in early summer. These berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients, earning them a reputation as a "superfruit." Their resilient nature and potential health benefits have spurred interest in their cultivation, especially in regions of Canada like Alberta.
While new to many North Americans, Haskap berries have a long history in other parts of the world, especially in Japan, where they're highly revered. The name "Haskap" is derived from the Ainu term "Hasukappu." In recent years, Canadian farmers, particularly in provinces like Alberta, have recognized the berry's potential, given the region's conducive climate. Research institutions in Alberta and other parts of Canada have been studying and breeding Haskap varieties to maximize their yield and flavour, solidifying their place in Canadian agriculture.
Alberta's culinary scene has been quick to embrace the Haskap berry's unique flavour profile. Fresh Haskap berries can be eaten straight off the bush, offering a burst of tangy sweetness. They're also a popular ingredient in jams and jellies, where their rich color and taste shine through. Haskap berry smoothies, blending the berries with yogurt or almond milk, provide a refreshing and nutritious drink. In baked goods, like muffins or pies, Haskap berries can easily replace more traditional fruits like blueberries or raspberries. Additionally, Alberta's innovative chefs have been experimenting with Haskap berries in sauces and dressings, pairing their tartness with savory dishes. Local artisans are also venturing into producing Haskap berry wines and liqueurs, showcasing the berry's versatility and appeal.
Pleasant View Berries
Pleasant View U Pick Berries, Township Road 290, Crossfield, AB, Canada
High Country Berries
High Country Berries, Clearwater County, AB, Canada
Desert Springs Farm
Desert Springs Farm, 6 Avenue Southwest, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada
The Berry Farm (at Christie's Corner)
52002 Range Road 232, Sherwood Park, AB T8B 1B3, Canada