A new berry is bursting on the scene in northeastern Ontario.
An oblong fruit that tastes like a cross between a raspberry and a blueberry, the haskap was designed for colder climates and is heartier than other berry crops.
Mitch Deschatelets grows the new Haskap berries at Leisure Farms in Sturgeon Falls — and said he believes he's one of a handful of farmers in northern Ontario that grows the berry.
"There [are] others [who] are talking," he said. "They're starting up either this year or next year."
Deschatelets has been growing the berries for the last four years, but this is the first harvest large enough to sell in stores outside his farm, because the haskap bushes aren't fully grown yet.
"You can consider them mature at five years," he said. "But they do get better, even after five years."
The berries are being sold at Eat Local Sudbury, Northern Harvest in New Liskeard, and the North Bay farmer's market.