We are all feeling it – the need to “get out” but the worry of too many people, not enough distance.. it can make anyone want to stay at home. After being cooped up for too long, we decided to get out of the city for the day and go pick some Haskaps at Rosy Farm’s UPick for a fun treat, some fresh country air, and a whole lotta Blue Skies.
For those that are wondering “what the heck is a Haskap?” prepare to have your mind (and tastebuds) blown.
Haskap Berries are a delightful cross in flavour between a blueberry, raspberry, and saskatoon. They look like an elongated blueberry and are amazing in jams, pies, smoothies (they are super-rich in antioxidants), or just piled on to ice cream – or my kid’s favourite, straight from the bowl to their mouths.
We arrived at Rosy Farms (about 40 mins north of St. Albert) and were greeted by a lovely worker who explained the different varieties available and which were ready for picking that day. You are able to go and “Sample” from each bush and find out your favourites! Then, they take your pails (we brought bowls) and weigh them so you don’t pay for the weight of your vessel and send you off into the orchard to pick!
It’s $5/LB and they do have small pint baskets available for you to fill up and take home if you don’t want to bring your own. You just come back to the stand when you are all done, have your bowl weighed and off you go! They accept Cash and E-Transfer so be prepared for that – there is no credit/debit available. The season for these amazing nutrient-rich berries is short so you’ll want to get out there ASAP!
It’s such a family-friendly place and Haskaps are super easy for even tiny fingers to pick – there’s no thorns or anything for them to hurt themselves on. Make sure to bring rubber boots just in case it’s rained recently, and wear closed-toe shoes, longer pants, mosquito spray and a hat – they don’t use any pesticides or chemicals on their berries so there can be bugs (you’re on a farm after all). When we went it was a bit windy so it wasn’t buggy at all, but there were a few mud puddles from this week’s crazy downpour to navigate so I would NOT suggest wearing sandals.
Rosy Farms is owned by Andrew Rosychuk, an Edmontonian that studied Agriculture at Old’s College in 2005. He was the first person to grow Haskaps in Alberta back then with 200 plants on his family farm, and they’ve quickly taken over his life – he bought the orchard in 2014 and has worked to cultivate, develop and introduce new varieties of the berry since.
UPick details: Rosy Farms is Open Each Day 9 am – 5 pm. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Estimating for the season to be done by July 26th.
Xo Jeanie B