Monday, July 21, 2014

The World's Best Information, Hands-On Learning: U of SK Haskap Day 2014 (Part 2)

Having heavily rained the night before the order of the day was switched so that the presentations occurred in the morning and the orchard tour would happen in the afternoon.  With weather clearing later in the day this worked out very well.

Dr. Bob Bors began the morning sessions at 9:15 a.m., providing a general overview of the haskap program, starting with a brief, historical background, and progressing up to the current/future direction of research.

Next,  Bayartugla Lkhagvsuren presented his work on the ecology of wild haskap, which so far has included a review of the available literature on edible blue honeysuckles in Russia.  Speaking Russian, he has made an invaluable contribution in translating Russian texts, even though many of these articles are not peer-reviewed.  He also spoke to the geographic locales of haskap prototypes, as well as the implications of this for historical haskap biology.

Next, PhD candidate James Dawson presented the developments of his continuing research on haskap neutraceutical compounds, reminding Haskap Day participants of the need to not speak of the benefits of anti-oxidants, but of the specific components contained in the plant and how they actually function in the human body.  Additonally, he indicated that these benefits may not come simply from the fruit itself.

Dr. Bors finished the morning presentations with some interesting side-lights on what is generally known: the manner in which haskap flowers can survive freezing temperatures, cautions about how many honeyberries have simply been re-named by vendors, the effects of pruning, and the relationship between hard science and the way in which science is appropriately an art in the continued development of their fruit program.

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