When to pick up haskap?
Fruit is harvested in late spring or early summer two weeks before strawberries for Russian type varieties (Honey Bee, Berry Blue, Blue Bell, Cinderella), Japanese types ripening at a similar time to that strawberries. (click here to learn more about the cultivars available in Quebec)
The fruit is ready for harvest when its skin is completely blue and the inside has a burgundy tint; the inner layer is dark purple or blue.
The harvest should not be too early. If the fruit is still green inside, it should take a few more days to consider harvesting. Sometimes the outer layer is dark blue and looks ripe, but the inner layer can be green with a sour flavor. (click here to learn more about the haskap flavor)
Tips for picking haskap
When picking, choose firm and clean haskap. They should be purple-blue in color and without signs of weathering or sunburn.
Be careful! The skin is very tender and easy to chew.
They are fragile and care is taken during the harvesting, the packaging and the transport stages. They are usually packed in perforated, rigid plastic containers to prevent physical damage.
The trees bear fruit very early in the season, which helps prevent certain diseases, as well as the period of hail and the outbreak of certain pests.
The fruit can remain on the plant for a few weeks. The ripening period is sufficiently uniform to allow a mechanized harvest.
The tree produces fruits the year following the planting. However, the first commercial harvest will take place only around the age of three or four.
How to store haskap?
Place the haskapberries in the refrigerator immediately after picking or buying and consume them within days. (click here to learn more about the conservation of haskap)
Do not wash them before refrigerating them and remove any damaged fruit. Wash them only when you are ready to eat them.
Take fruits out of the refrigerator 1 hour before eating them to maximize their flavor