I have borealis berry blue and tundra, the berries are tart but ok (however the robins and especially cedar waxwings really like them so will need to be netted to get more than a couple hidden berries!) In terms of berry quality they are valuable in being early and something different but dont compare to strawberries raspberries blueberries or even currants more inline with saskatoon…good but not great
See whats funny is i think honeyberries are extremely good and equal to many of the best fresh blueberries i have had. However my plants have never produced a ton (They are young like 10 to 30 a season) so maybe them putting all that effort into a few fruits yields extremely good examples?
They taste a little bitter, sweet, tart and astringent all in one. To me they taste exactly like an unripe plum. I let my hang on the bush for quite a while and they never get past tasting just like one. They are good because they are early and here in Utah they flourish in the shade under my apple trees, so they can be planted in those areas where nothing can grow.
Aurora and Boreal- series have much bigger and tastier fruits compared to first varieties Tundra and Borealis.
i have indigo gem/ treat and aurora. hands down aurora has bigger , sweeter berries and lots more of them.
I agree, no astringency, tart, but good flavor, delicious processed. With time we should have even better cultivars.
I’m having a hard time finding places to order aurora. I don’t order wholesale. Any suggestions?
It looks like they don’t have a shopping cart feature. Can you order just one or two bushes from them?
Fedco trees is selling Aurora for spring shipping
Ah, I see. My browser didn’t want to show their cart links. That’s very odd. Switching to firefox fixed it. Thanks all! Looking forward do some Aurora honeyberries . . . in a few years.
I almost exclusively use fruit for fermentation (mead) and over the fall have conducted three experimental batches using excellent quality Aurora honeyberries. Although I’d like to continue gathering data over several vintages, initial results are pretty agreed upon among my team that Aurora just lacks the zing and depth of flavor when compared to other honeyberries for use in making mead. It felt “one-note” and was not very interesting when compared to other honeyberries in our pilots.
Don’t let this deter you however: It’s quite common that using fruit with very high fresh-eating ratings does not necessarily translate to good qualities desired in an alcoholic beverage. See: Apples, cherries, pears. In 2018 when I tried a 1/2 dozen or so different cultivars for fresh eating I thought Aurora was the best of the bunch and I still stand by that.
what are your favorite varieties for mead so far?
Hard to say quite yet. The Russian varieties in general seem superior to the japanese ones in my opinion, perhaps due to their inherent inclination to be quite tart- but again, I want more time and resources to pilot before making any rash conclusions. Wojtek shows a lot of potential; it has something unique to it on the nose that is very appealing when compared to other varietals. Quite pretty; elegant. Very tart however. Honeybee has good potential as a structure-builder due to its higher-than-normal bitterness/tannin.
I’m very interested in working with some of the newer varieties like strawberry sensation, or the UofS beauty/beast/blizzard, etc. More to come in 2020 when I have greater options available.
Send me an IM, we might be able to work out a trade, sounds like you have varieties I dont have, and vice versa…
I’m not growing those varieties, yet, but I am laying the groundwork for what cultivars we are going to add to the orchard in the future. I’d like to keep the grower I’ve been partnering with confidential, but I can highly recommend Logie from lovehoneyberry.com for helping you source anything you might be interested in.
Did you ever find any additional information about the varieties that you were questioning being under US patent? I have looked this up, even on the US patent website, and can’t find a patent for some of the varieties that I am interested in. I want to honor legal US patents, but I don’t feel compelled to honor imaginary ones (claims that there is a patent when none actually exists) or patents from another country in which we have no legal requirement to honor.
Also, the nurseries that I usually deal with list the patent number with the product that they are selling, if the plant is under patent. I noticed that several varieties have patent numbers listed on the honeyberryUSA site, while others do not. The ones that don’t, I have been unable to find a patent on them.
Beauty is a nice sized chunk of a berry…but it hangs a long time looking as if it is ripe and it is not…let it be. Blizzard is the best off the bush berry I have had…a huge flattened diamond shape with rounded corners if that makes any sense… Boreal Beast is also nice off the bush…but a little harder to grow and to get going than some of the others. Another favorite of mine is Indigo Gem…though it is small in size it has, like the others I mentioned a more approachable flavour. I have probably 300 plants and at least 15 varieties. Wojtec deserves more notice than it gets…although it is a spreading droopy untidy mess of a plant , it is vigorous, highly productive and if left to ripen has a nice flavour. Berry Blue and Honeybee are among some of the “pollinators”…they have poor flavour and it really isn’t necessary to use these as there are always other, better tasting fruit that you can find to pollinate your favorite varieties…just have to hunt around. Haskaps , like other fruit, but to a much greater degree have such a range of esters that contribute to varying flavours from plum to apple to strawberry to tea leaf…at least these are the flavours I detect most in them…yes the taste does sometimes hint at raspberries…but raspberries have a distinct flavour that I have not found is common or prominent in haskaps…however apple and strawberry notes do come out…apple more so when fresh…strawberry when haskaps are made into jam. Which brings me to another point. If you are making jam (highly recommended but be sure to use pectin without added acidifying agents…the berries are tart enough they definitely don’t need acidifiers to bring out flavour),don’t worry too much about what varieties you have…ones that are not very appealing from the bush lend their own to the mix…(mix the varieties all together) in jam. Those who say they taste like blueberry I think are tasting with their eyes…blueberries have a , though subtle, very distinct flavour that I don’t find at all in haskaps. …apple yes, plum yes, …strawberry , tea leaf and other vague fruity essences. Though I have not tried it, I am certain they would also make a good wine.
Go ahead with full sun just protect the roots with some hardwood chips to keep roots cool.I was very surprised that mine which started out on black plastic ( to keep our terrible perennial weeds down) were ok through the summer where our summers get to 35 Celcius often for several days at a time…they don’t like that of course, but they were ok as long as I threw some wood chips around the base of the plants to keep roots cool…and after they finish producing…they look terrible…bronzing of leaves , loosing leaves, dried leaves, mildew…don’t worry , they are not dead…they do that in the summer heat.as long as they don’t dry out they are ok. I think sometimes the growing zones can be confusing…remember it is indicating what your winter low temperature is. Canada is not a block of ice…even the north (of Canada)gets quite hot in the summer…so these plants are not unused to some sun and heat…I wouldn’t try them in Arizona or Texas but DC area should do fine…just keep the roots cool in the summer heat.