Haskap: The superfood berry still trying to catch on
EDMONTON -- Call it a blue honeysuckle, honey berry, or haskap, which means “little present on the end of a branch.”
This small, slightly cylindrical, dark blue berry that grows across the northern hemisphere is one of the healthiest fruits.
But it remains something of a mystery to most people.
“I just saw there is a huge benefit of it when I started growing in 2014,” says oil field worker turned haskap producer Andrew Rosychuk.
The haskap berry has more anti-oxidants than blueberries. While blueberries are bought and sold in grocery stores everywhere, haskap berries have yet to catch on.
Even so, Rosychuk has a large section of land 45 minutes northwest of Edmonton devoted to the underappreciated superfruit.
“It becomes very complicated when it's trying to get into market. It doesn’t stay on the shelf very well and to pick it is difficult, you have to get in there.” Rosychuk told CTV News Edmonton on Thursday.
Calling it simply “a better blueberry,” Rosychuk hopes Rosy Farms can one day make the locally grown haskap an everyday fruit.
He’s working with a group of growers called North 49 Fruit to better market the haskap and then have an actual product launch next month.
“We need to educate people on how amazing it is.”
Rosychuk says the same processing, distribution, and marketing problems exist with the better known, but still undersold, Saskatoon berry.
“The big thing is making sure all farmers work together so that it can be an everyday fruit, and don’t undercut each other.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Dan Grummett