We are very excited to announce we have started a winery. It has
been a part of our long term plan and it is finally coming to fruition, pardon
We are the only Alaskan Winery that grows 100% of the fruit used in it's wine production. Our goal is to create top quality wines made from 100% Alaskan Grown fruit. We will have our fruit wines available through our online store. The first vintages will be ready by late summer or early fall of 2013.
Here is where you will find answers to most of the questions we are asked about Haskaps.
The scientific classification is
Species: L. Caerulea
Binomial name: Lonicera Caerulea
- The name. The name Haskap comes from the ancient Ainu people of Japan. It is recognized as one of the oldest known names given to this plant. It roughly translates to "many presents at the end of branches." The variety that we grow is from the Hokkaido region of Japan. Some confuse this variety with honeyberry. Honeyberry is a name coined by Jim Gilbert from One Green World nursery for his work with Russian varieties of Blue Honeysuckle. The point to keep in mind is that there are many different varieties of plants from the same Genus and Species. Take apples for example, there are Granny Smiths, Gala, Honey Crisp, etc., each have unique and different characteristics, but yet are all apples. This is why we use the name Haskap to identify our plants and not Honeyberries. As with all plants from the same species, there are many similarities and some differences. Our focus is to not debate the differences, but to describe our Haskaps as best we can.
- The plant. The haskap has been known to live 50-60 years! How long it will remain productive is subject to many factors such as care, weather, disease, insects, etc., but the fact remains it will produce for basically a lifetime. The plant grows very well in South Central Alaska. It will grow 4-5' wide and up to 5-6' tall. It does not sucker and has no thorns. The flowers can withstand some frost and the fruit will be ready to harvest by early to mid August. The plant does well in pH ranges 6-6.5, but can also tolerate other pH's . It can withstand 40 below winters. It has survived winters with little snow cover. We have not noticed any remarkable disease or insect pressure.
- The fruit. The haskap will begin to bear fruit during the second year. We have had some bear fruit the first year. By year 5, one can expect yields of 5-15 pounds. The yield will depend on site, care, weather, etc., so that is why there is such a wide range. The fruit typically has an oblong or tubular shape. Since we are trialing thousands of plants, we have seen all different sizes and shapes. The fruit is a deep, dark blue color and usually about an inch long and as big around as your little finger. It has the skin texture of a grape and also the same "blush" as a grape. When ripe, the inside of the fruit will be a dark red. If green inside, it is not ripe. The seeds are so small they are not noticeable. The flavor has been described as a combination of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. It is a multi-flavored fruit with sweetness, tart, tang and a zing all in one. Harvest for our area usually begins by the first week of August.
- Haskap products. The fruit from the haskap can be used just like most other berries. It is delicious fresh, makes great wines, jams, syrups, juices, pies, ice cream, dried and countless other ways. The Japanese have many value-added products made from this berry.
- Plant care. The Haskap should be grown on rich, well drained soil with a pH from 5.8-6.8. We grow ours on raised beds that are covered with a commercial grade of weed barrier. Plant spacing should be 4' apart with rows 8-10' apart. The haskap requires two varieties with different genes to pollinate. South Central Alaska seems to have plenty of native insect pollinators, but we also have bee hives to insure all of our berries have good insect pollination. Weed control and making sure watering needs are met will insure a good start for this plant. We use and recommend drip irrigation. The plant prefers full sun, but will also grow in partial sun areas.
- Health benefits. The research done on the health benefits have shown that haskaps have 3 times the anti-oxidants of blueberries! The Japanese have long associated this fruit with long life and good health. More and more research is being conducted on the health and nutritional benefits of this fruit. It is indeed a super berry.
- Plant sales. We will announce through our newsletter once we will have our haskap plant varieties available for sale. We will not take plant orders until we have announced it and posted them on our online store. All of our haskaps are Trademarked Registered and are propagation prohibited.
- Plant pictures. Visit our photo albums for some pictures of our haskaps. You will find the photo albums on our main menu.
Be sure to check out our Online Store.