Monday, July 28, 2014

The World's Best Information, Hands-On Learning: U of SK Haskap Day 2014 (Part 4)

By the time that lunch was over the sky had cleared and the sun was beginning to shine through the clouds.  Because of the heavy rain the night before we walked the tour and were picked up on the farthest point of the tour so that we didn't have to walk all the half mile back to the starting point.  Seventy-five paid participants were accompanied by Bob Bors, James Dawson, Bayartugla Lkhagvsuren and Ellen Sawchuk.  There is always a lot of interaction among participants in the of the highlights of attending!

The Joanna-3 harvester was demonstrated, although not on plants because of the saturated field conditions.

We moved on to the next-generation group of selections; plants were lush, heavily laden with fruit, large, and varied widely in berry characteristics.  Each year participants are given the opportunity to mark plants that they consider to be of a superior taste; this year was no exception.  We next toured and tasted the selections that Dr. Bors acquired from the wild on his search across Canada several years ago.  And we ended the tour viewing and tasting the youngest of the bushes along with the original "9" row that produced their first commercial 'haskap'.  It should be remembered that haskap is an edible blue honeysuckle that was selected for superiority in many traits: berry size, shape, flavour, sweetness, not bleeding when picked...bush shape, size, rapidity of growth...etc..  As in all genetic selection, it is easy to select improvements in the next generation based on only one or two traits; it becomes mulch more complex and complicated when you are trying to select for many traits simultaneously.  The U of SK program proves that this is not only possible, but that it requires enormous effort, skill, and perseverance to do so...the proof is in the field!  Come see for yourself next year!!!

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