Our Haskap Story

 

This page talks about our Haskap story. As we build more orchards we will add more information and show the progress of each one. If you are looking for specific information about growing Haskap plants please see our consulting web page. The below information does show our orchard time lines and provides some information about each orchard. As a note, we use what we sell, and we are strictly organic. We do not use organic derived herbicides or pesticides either (yes this is allowed on certified organic farms).

Lahave River Berry Farm Inc. was started in the summer of 2013 when we planted our first Haskap berry orchard and started clearing land for our second orchard. We are located in Middle Lahave, Nova Scotia, on the beautiful Lahave River in Lunenburg County, just a short drive from Lunenburg, a UNSECO World Heritage Site. The South Shore of Nova Scotia is a wonderful place to live and work. The climate and annual rainfall make Nova Scotia the ideal place to grow Haskaps. 

We also grow vegetables, annuals, perennials,  trees, and shrubs. We are following a philosophy that plants can be grown naturally without the use of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. It is all about the health of the soil. Our mission is to grow healthy, nutrient rich, natural food and beautiful flowers, shrubs, and trees.

Orchard 1

Our first haskap orchard was planted in the fall of 2013. This orchard consists of approximately 700 plants. There are 3 varieties in this orchard. The varieties are Tundra, Indigo Gem, and Berry Smart Blue. 

This orchard became an experiment. There was very little information concerning growing Haskap in Nova Scotia. So we took the time with this area to improve the soil health to what we felt Haskap plants require to flourish. 

The history of this area, where this orchard is located, was mainly pasture land. From what we know of this farm it was used for raising cows in the 30s and 40s. There were horses present in the 60s. Sheep used this area in the 70s and 80s. During the 90s and onward it was not used for anything and half of it grew up with Scotch pine trees, while the other half was kept mowed.  

The Scotch pine trees were cut down and the stumps were removed with a small excavator. This part of the orchard was then groomed with a box blade on a Kubota 3300U, which is our main orchard tractor. The rows were tilled, and soil amendments added. A soil tests was taken prior to adding any soil amendments. The plant spacing is 3ft centers and the row spacing is 10ft centers. A soil test has been taken every year, and have been carefully analyzed. We also pay close attention to the soil microbiology. Various methods of weed control have been used, and different types of mulches have been tried on different rows. This has provided a lot of very useful information, and we are very confident about what the soil health needs to be in order to grow a healthy, productive Haskap orchard. 

The below slide show shows the timeline of our first orchard. This is the front part of the orchard and pictures from this area were mainly used as we had fairly consistent pictures of this area from year to year. All of the pictures, except the first one, are taken after the growing season. We will keep adding to this slide show each year. 

Orchard 2

Our second orchard has literally been carved out of the wilderness. We have roughly 180 acres of land, but the majority of it is cut over forest land. So in order to create more orchards we have to clear it first.

This orchard was the first one to be created from cleared forest land. This one became an experiment as well, and we learned a lot during the process. 

The area is around 2 acres in size. An excavator was used to clear the bushes, rocks and stumps. We then used a Kubota L5740 with various attachments to clean it up and groom it. The plant spacing was changed to 5 ft on center, and the row width is 12 ft on center.

The Haskap plants were grown in our nursery for 1-2 years prior to planting. The varieties are Polish and Berries Unlimited. 

The below slide show provides a time line.

Orchard 3

Right now we are busy with our the third orchard. This one will be roughly 4 acres in size. It is currently being cleared.

Pics will be added as it progresses.

Farm Video Footage

The below videos are drone footage of the overview of our farm. The first video shows the main farm area, and our first haskap orchard. The main area also has a small raspberry orchard near the main highway, bee apiary, nursery, small greenhouse, fresh cut flower growing areas, and a small nursery.

The second drone footage shows the back land of our farm. This footage shows Orchard 2, and additional land that will slowly be developed over time. Orchard 4 will be developed directly across the road from Orchard 2. We have so far cleared the small trees on this piece.

As we expand we will have a few wetland areas, and quite a few treed areas, that will not be touched. These areas will only have work done to them if required.