What's the verdict on Honeyberries...are they tasty?


I’ve been lucky that the birds haven’t touched my berries. surprising as the property is ringed with big pines and birds abound. the patch is near the house so maybe the noise and dogs barking keeps them away.


nice derek! looking’ good!


The nice thing about honeyberry is they ripen so early that I can harvest them and then move the net to the blueberries or black currants.


i think the birds leave my fruit alone because the abandoned field next t door is full of chokecherry and high bush cranberry bushes. my property has a lot of mountain ash berries also.


when do yours ripen? this is only the 2nd. year for mine. 1st time i get some berries and they’re still green right now.


They vary a lot by cultivar and climate. Mine turned blue 2 or 3 weeks ago, are sweetening up now. This year things are 2 or 3 weeks later than the last few years. The last few years things were earlier than usual.


My nets were on strawberries. I need 2 more nets to have enough of them. I have 3 strawberry patches. I’m eliminating one of those. I want to put other stuff there, and I don’t like the cultivar there. Strawberries are a pain, fruiting before honeyberries, and I still have some late June bearing, bearing right now still.
The birds discovered my red currants, so far leaving the blacks alone, and gooseberrries alone too.


I have gotten to try the varieties Sugar Mountain and Balaliaka Blue at a friends, these were had a blueberry/raspberry/cranberry zesty tart flavor and medium size. Similar at home was Hokkaido Blue, with a barrel shape. Aurora is biggest, picked one over and inch long today, and also a bit milder flavored and sweeter. I would say they are tasty, next year hopefully mine will provide enough for a batch of something…I am thinking about pancakes with the cup or so of fruit my young plants are bearing. Brix levels coming soon…


I gave my Aurora a shake yesterday, and a couple berries fell off. This seems like a good way to ascertain ripeness. They were softer than the ones I had picked earlier, the insides were purple goo and the taste was somewhat sweet, and had really good fruity berry flavor that is really it’s own thing. Melts in your mouth. Underripe they are similar to blueberry flavor but at dead ripe…something else. Hoping for a larger sample in the next few days!
I am going to try to visit Great Northern Berries’ this week, might pick up some more plants, some processed goodies, and check out the acres of honeyberries they may be harvesting now.
Another resource I discovered on the net is lovehoneyberry.com, loads of great info on their site as well as plants for sale, mostly geared towards large scale growers.


I got to taste my first harvest a week ago. An Aurora planted this spring. It set a half dozen berries and the one I got was very good, which was a relief (that I did indeed like them) (or rather it). I’m assuming whoever got the rest liked them also. Taste reminded me of strawberries. Next year I’ll cover with my blueberry cage sections. As @murky mentioned above, the timing of ripening is convenient as my BB’ s are still well green. I look forward to tasting the others (indigo gem, b.beauty, b.blizzard), and a real harvest. The reports keep me hopeful.


Falling off seems a good sign that a given berry is as ripe as it is going to get, but I’ve also eaten one from the ground, then picked a slightly firmer one from the bush that was sweeter, or at least significantly less tart.


At our place I’m pretty sure its the hoards of robins. Either their individual territories are small, or they put aside their differences for the purpose of eating my blueberries before they turn fully blue.


Sounds like a NET investment would pay dividends…


I have the nets, just need the 20 minutes to put them on :frowning:


i have to invest in netting too. my strawberries are getting eaten by grackles! don’t want them to get my blueberry crop.


Aurora, pretty red inside, 14 brix. Not quite dead ripe, a grower I talked to yesterday told me he aims for 15 brix and has seen as high as 18. Flavor was good out of hand, I also got a bottle of Honeyberry wine made from the crop at Great Northern Berries by Hermit Woods Winery which was fantastic- rich like a good medium bodied Pino Noir.
Added two more plants from the nursery…I think I am hooked!


just planted a aurora this spring. is doing well and has a few berries on it. can’t wait to taste them! ate some tundra and indigo treat off my other 2 bushes. were very good. mix of cherry/ blue berry taste.


Out of all the sort of off beat berries, these have potential.I have 7 plants here in the city, and 3 more at my cottage.
Two are the super sweets, they are small, but growing.


so…sounds like aurora is a winner…if you had to choose from what’s available now and only choose 1-2 other plants to go with and pollinize aurora, as well as make good fruits, what would those varieties be?

Side note: I hear all honeyberries are very easy to root by basically mulching heavily around the base, then later flushing them clean and pulling the shoots that have set roots. Given their popularity here, folks who have them might want to consider setting plant-lets for next yr’s scion exchange spring flurry here, as they would probably be great “currency” in trading for less common scionwood…especially if they happen to, yanno, match my trade list


Some other recommendations from the grower I visited were Berry Blue, Hokkaido Blue, Indigo Treat, Tundra, Blue Sky. Aurora is 50% of his new planting, so it’s obvious he prefers that one-me too! This is based on his observations of productivity, growth habit that makes harvest easier (upright vs prostrate), flavor as grows in New Hampshire. He does not market them for fresh eating, much of his crop goes to value added producers- wine, preserves, ice cream, baked goods. So some the the more recent sweet flavor selections might be of more interest to backyard growers who want to nibble.