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Pre-Registration for NYS Honeyberry Conference Deadline: June 28, 2024  at 12:00 PM

Register for this Event Now

NYS Honeyberry Conference

Event Details


June 29, 2024


8:30am - 4:30pm


179 County Route 64
Mexico, NY 13114


Registration : $40.00

(addl attendee $40.00 ea.)


Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Joshua Vrooman
315-963-7286 ext. 200

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County (CCE Oswego County) and Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY (CCE Harvest NY) will be hosting a state-wide conference on a new emerging fruit called Honeyberry, also known as Haskap (Lonicera caerulea).

Honeyberries are a dark blue color, like blueberries, but with a distinct oval shape. The taste is most associated with raspberry and blueberry, while also containing its own distinctive flavor. The fruit can grow in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 1 to 8 and can survive up to 30 years or longer if properly managed. What makes the fruit unique is that it ripens from the middle of June through early July. This allows the fruit to sit comfortably between the strawberry and blueberry season. When fully mature plants can produce 6 to 10 lbs. of berries, which can be eaten as a fresh fruit or made into value-added products.

Native varieties are found in northern regions of the globe, including in Europe, Russia, and Japan, as well as parts of the US and Canada. In fact, the USDA Agricultural Research Service indicates that Lonicera caerulea L. var. villosa is a native subspecies located throughout Canada, as well as Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, and New England areas. The first groups to cultivate this fruit were Russian and Japanese growers. In fact, the Japanese have grown them for well over a century. Recently, however, improved cultivars bred from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada have allowed for a niche industry to form, and there is a lot of interest in establishing this fruit in New York as a specialty crop. One of the main challenges, however, is the lack of education and awareness. Therefore, the goal of the conference is to help fill in some important knowledge gaps for interested growers and lay out a possible vision of the future.

The conference will cover the history of the fruit, best growing practices, processing, value-added production, and marketing. Guest speakers will include growers and researchers from the US and Canada, including Dr. Bob Bors from the University of Saskatchewan. Attendees will also be able to network and attend an optional farm tour immediately after the conference.

Registration includes entry into the conference and an opportunity to try fresh honeyberry fruit. Attendees will also be able to sample value-added products, including honeyberry jam, gelato, and juice. Registration fees do not include lunch. Registered attendees will receive a follow up email with the conference agenda and a list of restaurants within driving distance of campus. There are also numerous hotels and other accommodations in the area for those wishing to stay overnight.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County would like to thank CiTi BOCES for making their facilities available for this event. For more information, please contact Josh Vrooman, information listed below, or Anya Osatuke, Small Fruits Specialist for CCE Harvest NY at or 607-752-2793.


Check in time: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

  • Honeyberry jam & crackers provided beforehand. Jam to be donated by Duane Smith, owner of Seaway Coldhardy Berries, Evans Mills, NY.

Session One: 8:30 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.

  • Dr. Bob Bors - Assistant Professor Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources o Introduction to haskap: scientific and common names, native distribution, biology, basic characteristics, subspecies characteristics, early history, uses

Session Two: 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

  • Dr. Bob Bors - Assistant Professor Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources o Breeding and research at USASK & other notable programs
  • Growing haskap: planning an orchard, planting, pruning, pollination, etc.

Session Three: 10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.

  • Dr. Bob Bors - Assistant Professor Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources o Harvesting and using Haskap: harvest time, machinery, food products, potential for health products
  •  Future: research, breeding and marketing needed

Breakout Session: 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

  • Try fresh fruit if available
  • Produced by Ron Loiacono, owner of Loiacono Farm, West Winfield, NY
  • Produced by Kent Marrs, ORAC Farms, Waterford, VA

Lunch: 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  • List of local restaurants within the village of Mexico will be provided

Session Four: 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

  • Duane A. Smith - Owner of Seaway Coldhardy Berries, Evansmills, NY specializing in cold hardy fruiting plants and berries o A grower's perspective: fruit production, making value-added products and the importance of consumer education

Breakout Session: 1:50 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Try honeyberry gelato samples. Made by Chiara Alteri from Alteri's La Bella Dolce. Frozen berries donated by Duane Smith, owner of Seaway Coldhardy Berries, Evans Mills, NY.

Session Five: 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.

  • Michael Davis - Farm Manager, Willsboro Research Farm, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station o Challenges and Opportunities: working with Honeyberries on Cornell's Willsboro Research Farm

Session Six: 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.

  • Jim & Bernis Ingvaldson - Owners of Honeyberry USA, Bagley, MN (virtual) o Key Lessons on Establishing a Honeyberry Farm with Upick Operation
  • Kent Marrs - Owner of ORAC Farms, Waterford, VA o Growing & Marketing Haskap in Hotter Climates of Northern Virgina

Breakout session: 3:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Try honeyberry juice. Donated by Kent Marrs, ORAC Farms, Waterford, VA

Session Seven: 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Anya Osatuke - Small Fruit Berry Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY
  • Joshua Vrooman - Agriculture Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County

Farm Tour: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • Optional farm tour after conference ends:
Jim Maryinuk
Maryinuk Farm
29 Besaw Road
Phoenix, NY 13135
Maryinuk Farm is located 15 minutes south of CiTi BOCES. The farm visit is optional for those who wish to stay after the conference. Jim Maryinuk is a local honeyberry grower with over eight years' experience with honeyberries. Jim has over 300 honeyberry plants, including a young planting from last fall and a mature planting from eight years ago. Dr. Bob Bors will help lead the tour, alongside Jim Maryinuk who will also share his knowledge and experience with attendees.

Seating is Limited, Register Now:

For Cash or Check payment:
For Online payment:

NYS Honeyberry Conference (PDF; 90KB)

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