Dear Curiosity Journal,
On the heels of death, I regenerate by reaching for signs of life, and notice the honeyberries are flowering. I stop to observe the filament and anther reaching for the firmament in lemon chiffon. We’re experimenting with a few of these shrubs on the edge of a garden bed. You need at least 2 varieties for cross pollination, but it looks like only one of the varieties survived. I believe these were planted in 2021 and so far, no berries. I’m curious about what this plant needs to flourish, so I learned more on Blue Fruit Farm’s website (an awesome organic berry farm in Southeastern Minnesota who I met at the MOSES/Marbleseed conference). “Honeyberries originated from Eastern Siberia, which makes them extremely cold hardy (down to zone 2) and tolerant of a wide variety of soil types and pH levels. Known as haskap in Japan and zhimolost (or blue honeysuckle) in Russia, honeyberries are a member of the honeysuckle family, but lack the invasive qualities of their relatives. Flowering in early spring, honeyberries attract many native pollinators to its small, white and yellow, fragrant flowers. The fruits are elongated blueberry-like berries that ripen in early June, with a unique flavor which has been compared to blueberries, raspberries, juneberries, and black currants. The tender skins of honeyberries are known to “disintegrate” when eaten, making them a wonderful addition to yogurt, ice cream, and smoothies.” Blue Fruit Farm also shares a bit about the health benefits saying, “Honeyberries have the highest contents of phenolic acids, anthocyanin and antioxidants of the berries we grow. They contain significant sources of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. They have twice the Vitamin A and four times the Vitamin C as Blueberries. Honeyberries have anti-inflammatory properties, are good for the eyes, fight against colon cancer, and have cardiovascular benefits. They are also a good source of fiber.” Once again, my curiosity leads me to inspiration, which leads me to growth. Time to replant a second variety of honeyberry to get this growth on the road to another nutritious and delicious member of our landscape.