NYS Honeyberry Conference

  • Saturday, June 29, 2024, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County (CCE Oswego County) and Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY (CCE Harvest NY) will be hosting a state-wide conference on a new emerging fruit called Honeyberry, also known as Haskap (Lonicera caerulea).

Honeyberries are a dark blue color, like blueberries, but with a distinct oval shape. The taste is most associated with raspberry and blueberry, while also containing its own distinctive flavor. The fruit can grow in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 1 to 8 and can survive up to 30 years or longer if properly managed. What makes the fruit unique is that it ripens from the middle of June through early July. This allows the fruit to sit comfortably between the strawberry and blueberry season. Fully mature plants can produce 6 to 10 lbs. of berries, which can be eaten as a fresh fruit or made into value-added products.

Native varieties are found in northern regions of the globe, including in Europe, Russia, and Japan, as well as parts of the US and Canada. In fact, the USDA Agricultural Research Service indicates that Lonicera caerulea L. var. villosa is a native subspecies located throughout Canada, as well as Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, and New England areas. The first groups to cultivate this fruit were Russian and Japanese growers. In fact, the Japanese have grown them for well over a century. Recently, however, improved cultivars bred from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada have allowed for a niche industry to form, and there is a lot of interest in establishing this fruit in New York as a specialty crop. One of the main challenges, however, is the lack of education and awareness. Therefore, the goal of the conference is to help fill in some important knowledge gaps for interested growers and lay out a possible vision of the future.

The conference will cover the history of the fruit, best growing practices, processing, value-added production, and marketing. Guest speakers will include growers and researchers from the US and Canada, including Dr. Bob Bors from the University of Saskatchewan. Attendees will also be able to network and attend an optional farm tour immediately after the conference.

Registration includes entry into the conference and an opportunity to try fresh honeyberry fruit. Attendees will also be able to sample value-added products, including honeyberry jam, gelato, and juice. Registration fees do not include lunch. Registered attendees will receive a follow up email with the conference agenda and a list of restaurants within driving distance of campus. There are also numerous hotels and other accommodations in the area for those wishing to stay overnight.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County would like to thank CiTi BOCES for making their facilities available for this event. For more information, please contact Josh Vrooman, information listed below, or Anya Osatuke, Small Fruits Specialist for CCE Harvest NY at aco56@cornell.edu or 607-752-2793.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities, and provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County office at 315-963-7286 if you have any special needs.



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Last updated June 17, 2024