This article was originally published in Eat Local Magazine Pilot Issue | Fall 2018 | Subscribe Here
WORDS DANIEL JACK | PHOTOS HEATHER MUSE
What the Haskap is a Haskap? And we are going where? …was my first response to my wife when she told us of our evening’s festivities.
Now, having been married to one with-a-creative-mind for quite some years there is really nothing that can surprise me. Whether it is coming home to a re-painted, re-furbished living room (again), or driving half way across the province to look into purchasing a 100 year old school (true story), or meeting up with some long haired dude in a Nisku truck stop to buy baby chickens (also a true story) I almost think I have done it all. Rather than resist my wife’s creativity, I’ve learned to embrace it and roll with the punches so to speak, so off we went on another mini-adventure.
Under an amazing painted Alberta sky we made the relatively short drive to Rosy Farms to learn what a Haskap is and to become acquainted with the entrepreneur behind it all. Andrew has, so far, built his farm into the most amazingly beautiful Haskap farm I have ever seen (and perhaps the only one). Imagine 20,000 budding plants divided into hundreds of rows, spread across 80 acres of gently rolling undulations of prairie landscape and you get a bit of an idea of what it looks like. It is truly mind blowing to look at all the plants and imagine how much blood, sweat, and tears Andrew has poured into this place over the last 3 years. Cheers to you Andrew!
And back to the first question, what is a Haskap? It’s outward appearance is somewhat similar to a blue berry, however, imagine a blue berry that fell out of a Doc. Seuss book and ‘voila’ you have a Haskap. I was planning to throw a few of my best Dr. Seuss lines down after this part, but alas, what rhymes with Haskap?
I also learned that not only does this power packed little fruit contain a plethora of healthy goodness, it also can be thrown into pretty much anything as shown by Mel from The Nomadic Wife. She treated us to an incredible display of culinary prowess, both in a smorgasbord (of pretty much everything) upon our arrival to a 5 course meal including pirogies, and pizza all with a Haskap theme. I don’t pretend to be a ‘foodie’ by any means, but if she is able to produce a meal like this with the ‘5 star kitchen’ she had available to her at the farm, than I can only imagine what her cuisine is like from working quarters that even include a sink…and running water.
In this technologically crazed world of Facebook, Instagram, etc., what continues to be the one thing that brings people together? Food. This comment was brought out by someone during the round table introductions/discussion during our dinner of 20+ amazingly different people. The act of sitting down together, breaking bread together, putting aside phones, devices, interruptions, can only be done during a meal or celebration. The meal we had that evening all began with one man’s dream of a small berry.
Thank you Andrew for bringing us all together and for all the work you have done. Your passion for what you are doing was obvious from the moment we met and I look forward to enjoying the endless possibilities that are about to emerge in the Haskap craze that is likely to engulf our world – Haskaps in cereal, muffins, yogurt, wine…
Also thanks for the dessert which we smashed on the way home. A freaking good doughnut from Frickin’ Delights, which oddly enough, may have been smothered with Haskaps inside and out.
Visit Rosy Farms online here.