Berries Unlimited, one of the largest developers, growers and exporters of haskap (or Siberian blueberry , honeyberry in English) in the United States, announced today that it has launched the new Honey Champion variety (the plant is patent pending).
Berries are excellent when eaten fresh, or when frozen or dried. They are also excellent for cooking and making preserves. The berries ripen at the same time and are easy for bees and insects to harvest and pollinate.
A softer and more resilient haskap
"We created this variety on our farm and it has a 15-20 percent higher yield, which means more antioxidants per bush," said Lidia Delafield, owner of Berries Unlimited. "The Honey Champion variety has excellent flavor, is very sweet, is the largest berry and I think it is the best among the Siberian blueberries ."
The most important criteria worldwide for these fruits are taste, flavor, and cultivation methods. Honey Champion is a haskap that is distinguished by taste and flavor, with a berry quality characterized by hard skin, firmness, dry scar, a nice shape for sorting, and uniform berries that ripen at about the same time for easier production.
They have a very long shelf life, normally difficult to obtain. Berries can remain up to a week without refrigeration, simply left on the table. This is the most valuable feature for sales in the fresh market.
A well-structured and vigorous plant
The Honey Champion plant is wind-resistant, does not break and is not brittle during growth. The bush reaches a height of 150-180 cm and is very vigorous and fast growing.
The Honey Champion bush hasan ideal upright habit, which is very helpful in facilitating pollination and harvesting. The right length of the stalk helps protect the flowers from wind damage, which can occur in early spring. The length of the stalk is also perfect for production, as it allows more berries to be close together, increasing yield.
The berries fall off the stems with slight force when picked, but do not fall off the stems due to wind. The shape and structure of the leaves do not hide the berries from pickers, but prevent wind damage and sunburn. Honey Champion is a mid- to late-season variety.
Versatile, both fresh and processed
"I like that our customers can eat Honey Champion berries as fresh, sweet berries straight from the bush, make jams, jellies, juices, even wine or liqueurs," Delafield said. "We add them to maple syrup or strawberries, giving them new nuances of flavor. Berries are great when frozen or dried and are also great for baking and cooking."
Fruitnet is part of the NCX Media network.
Photo: Rosy Farms Haskaps(Mack Male)