Berries Unlimited releases new Honey Champion berry
Berries Unlimited has released its new Honey Champion (patent pending) honeyberry/Haskap variety, made from 100 percent Japanese origin.
The Honey Champion honeyberry plant is wind resistant, not breakable and not fragile during new growth. The honeyberry bush grows to five to six feet tall and is a very vigorous and fast grower.
The berries are great when you eat them fresh, or you can freeze them or dry them. They’re also great for baking and making preserves. The berries ripen at the same time, are easy to pick or harvest and are easy for bees and insects to pollinate.
“We created this honeyberry on our farm and it has 15 to 20 percent higher yields, which means more antioxidants per bush,” said Lidia Delafield, owner of Berries Unlimited. “The Champion honeyberry has an excellent flavor, is very sweet and is the biggest berry and I think it is the best honeyberry.”
The top criteria all over the world for honeyberries are taste, flavor and growing habits. The Honey Champion honeyberry delivers for taste and flavor with a berry quality that features tough skin, firmness, dry scar, a nice shape for sorting out and uniform berries that ripen about the same time for easier production. They have a very long shelf life that is hard to achieve. The berries can stay up to a week without refrigeration, just left on the table. It is the most valuable feature for the fresh market sales.
The Honey Champion bush has an ideal upright growing habit that is very helpful for easier pollination and harvesting. The right length of the pedicel helps to protect blooms from harsh wind damage that can happen during the early spring. The length of the pedicel is perfect for production as well since it allows more berries to be close to each other, increasing production. The berries detach from the stems with just a light force when picked but they do not fall off the stems because of wind. The shape and structure of the leaves do not hide berries from the berry pickers, but they do prevent wind and sunburn damage. Honey Champion is a mid- to late-season variety.
“I love that our customers can eat Honey Champion berries as a sweet fresh berry right from the bush, make jams, jelly, juice, even wine or harder liquors,” said Delafield. “We add it to maple syrup or strawberries, and it give them new shades of flavor. The berries are great when you freeze them or dry them and are also great for baking and cooking.”