A recent introduction to western Canada is an exciting fruit called Haskap. Extensive plant breeding at the University of Saskatchewan field labs has produced very good varieties. Among the best is Indigo Gem and Aurora.
Haskap berries are said to have high nutritional value. Haskap are not self-pollinating and these two varieties work well together to cross-pollinate.
Plants are a deciduous shrub, mature height is 1.5 to 2 metres, no-suckering (do not spread), and are extremely hardy in the prairies. Fruit is coloured the same as, and tastes similar to, a blueberry.
The berry ripens in June/early July for some early summer enjoyment. The berries are sweet and very good to eat fresh, or freeze for smoothies.
Plants are commonly available at garden centres and through mail order catalogues.
Vivian and Jim Boughen have recently retired from the nursery business in Nipawin, SK after 40+ years. Their reputation of providing top-quality, hardy nursery stock near the banks of the Saskatchewan River kept loyal customers returning yearly.
The Boughen’s specialized in propagation of shade trees, shrubs, fruit trees, and native species plants that have changed the landscape of western Canada for generations.
Jim is a 3rd generation nursery operator, whose family has been in the horticulture industry over 100 years.