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. 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 they are 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 slideshow 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.
We have started to change some of the varities in this orchard. This project was started in 2019. We are adding Honeybee, and Aurora to this orchard.