What is a Camerise?
The Haskap berry, also known as Camerise, is a superfruit containing powerful antioxidants and essential minerals. Also known as Blue Honeysuckle from the plant species Lonicera caerulea, Haskap is among the first plants to leaf out and flower in the spring. These rich, colourful berries are full of flavour and suitable for both eating fresh and processing
Why are these berries called Camerise / Haskap?
Haskap is a term used in Asian markets. They are also called Honey Berries, Swamp Fly Honeysuckle, Blue Honeysuckle, and, in French, Camerise.
Why grow Camerise / Haskap?
Haskap represents a new berry crop for North America with new cropping patterns, new flavours and new marketing opportunities. These berries fit both conventional and organic, management plans and will extend fresh berry harvesting seasons.
Will the plants grow in my area?
Haskaps/Honeysuckles will likely grow in most regions of Canada due to their extreme hardiness: they can tolerate anything from frost conditions to moderate summer temperatures.
What types of soil do these plants like?
Haskap are tolerant of marginal soils but excel as quality improves. We aim for a pH of 5.6-6.5 and topsoil as deep as possible for Prince Edward Island. Plants have proven to be widely adaptable to all soil types, including clay and sand.
Can I have just one plant?
No. Haskap (like apples) need 2 different varieties in order to successfully pollinate the berries.
How large to the plants grow?
It depends on the variety:
- Tundra mature around 4-5 feet
- Borealis mature around 4 feet
- Indigo Gem mature around 5-6 feet
- Indigo Treat mature around 4-5 feet
- Czech 17 (pollinators) mature around 5-6 feet
How long before I get berries?
Haskap will develop fruit on plants the spring following planting, but it will take 3 to 5 years of growth before substantial yields are accumulated from bushes. In better quality soils, plants will quickly develop large branches and numerous berries.
When do the berries ripen?
For most Northern regions of Canada and the US, these berries will ripen during the later part of June. Berries will turn blue long before they attain their delicious tangy-sweet flavour.
Are there any production problems?
Birds love these berries, so you may have to cover the bushes with netting. In wet seasons and with Haskap’s lush foliage, a fungus called Botrytis can cause the leaves to brown and defoliate. Some pruning of the bush to aid airflow can be helpful, or management using conventional crop protectants can help. Weeds are a chronic problem, so various measures such as mulching and manual controls can be applied to reduce competition.
What can I do with Camerise / Haskap berries?
Haskap can be enjoyed so many ways! We suggest: eat them fresh or add to salads; freeze them; make jam; press them for juice; ferment them to make wine; use as a filling in a French pastry; or add as a topping to ice cream or yogurt. Some companies are extracting the juice from Haskap berries as it is very high in antioxidants (much higher than blueberries).