Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tasting my Borealis Honeyberry (Haskap)

It's late May and almost all of the fruit on my Borealis Honeyberry is ripe. What do Honeyberries taste like? Well they taste like blueberries, not as firm, and much more tart. Makes my face pucker just thinking about it. The fruit is less than an inch long, so it would take a bunch to make a mouthful. They would probably make a great preserve if you were able to harvest enough.  My tree is in it's 2nd yr and its only put out a handful of fruit. Not enough for me to get too excited about.

The good thing about these berries are that they would act as a great compliment to the early, mid, and late blue berries planting. Honeyberries have early and mid varieties as well. However, their early ones ripen much earlier than any blueberry. So if you want to extend your blueberry growing season, compliment it with some honeyberries and you can possibly be eating honey/blue berries from May into October.

Haskap/Honeyberry Bloom Chart

Early Mid Late

Indigo Gem*
Indigo Treat*
Berry Smart Blue
Sugar Mountain Blue™
Honey Bee*
Boreal Blizzard*

Borealis Honeyberries are also a very pretty bushed when they fillout. It has a dome shape growing habit. They grow outdoors here with no protection and I only have 1 mature tree but it produces for me without a pollinator. The productivity may go up if I had another mature variety close by. I have two smaller bushes but they probably have another year before maturing.

I like the idea of an edible hedge so I may just plant a row of these outside my fence. They are much more decorative than blueberries and the fruit is well hidden under the leaves, which is a good deterrent from hungry birds and curious sidewalkers.

Here's a great site that carries many varieties of honeyberries.


  1. Hello,

    I am very surprised that the Borealis are so tart, it really is very early to be harvesting them though. Just because they are blue on the outside, doesn't mean that they are ripe.

    Borealis should have a brix of about 15 when ripe, and I have tasted some that have even tasted of strawberries. If you have no netting and the birds haven't started to take them, that is a sign that they are not yet ripe!!

    I would give them another couple of weeks!



    1. I do recall that that the flavor was really similar last year as well and I had some that were ripe and falling off. They do get a bit sweeter but my plant just doesn't get super sweet. I'm hoping my younger honeyberries will help with the pollination next year.

      What would you recommend?