The honeyberry; easy-growing and easy-going, it grows well in a variety of soils, sun and shade. It resists disease and pests. University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist Patrick Byers says southwestern Missouri’s rocky soil is perfect for honeyberry. Farmers in other states found that honeyberry plants long and strong, with a 50-year life expectancy and the ability to withstand temperatures as low as minus 55 degrees.
The purple-blue, teardrop-shaped berries are half an inch to an inch long. They are the first to bear in spring, even before strawberries. The honeyberry goes by haskap in Japan and zhimolost in Russia.
B Berry Farms, a U-pick operation in Elkland, Missouri, sells 20 different varieties of honeyberry. B Berry also grows a variety of other fruits, including blackberries, raspberries and Goji berries, as well as vegetables. Value-added products include soaps, balms and lotions.