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Farm growing the haskap, the perfect berry for northern climate

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The haskap, a fruit that looks similar to a blueberry, is being grown at a farm in New Liskeard.

Verger du Terrior has more than 20,000 haskap plants and the farm is trying to educate people on the up-and-coming fruit.

While the berry is still relatively uncommon in Ontario, the owners of Verger du Terrior said this week that it’s the perfect fruit to grow in northern Ontario.

“Once they are established, it’s a very hardy northern fruit. You don’t have to worry about them, they will survive the winter and the hard spring,” Louise Philbin said.

“They are better suited to the north than the south, which for once is unusual.”

The northern Ontario haskap farm is the largest commercial haskap orchard in the province.

“The really cool thing … is the fact that we have the opportunity to not only have the quality of berries, but the quantity, too,” said Sarah Boucher.

“We will be pulling over 120,000 pounds this harvest, which is quite astonishing considering they’re only halfway into their growth. They have another four years of growing to do.”

With three times the antioxidants than a blueberry, Boucher said the potential for haskaps is unlimited. 

“Our varieties here are balanced, sweet, a bit of tanginess but they a gorgeous berry,” she said.

“A lot of people come in for health reasons, but also to bake, to press them and put them in beverages -- the options are really endless. We harvest the haskaps for the beverage industry, for juicing, distillery’s and brewers.”

The farm also offers pick-your-own-berries events a few days a week that sees hundreds of people come to the orchard.

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