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About Haskap and Northern Berries of Hokkaido

2021/01/20


 

 An Encounter With The Nature of Hokkaido ♪

 

 

Hello everyone!

 

This is Komina Obara, Total Balance Beauty Planner.

Why I have been turning my attention to Haskap and Northern berries?

Today, I am going to explain about some personal reasons
(for example, as I grew up listening to stories related to ecosystems
from an early age due to the influence of my uncle who was engineer).

Also, I am going to talk about the detailed information that Dr. Suzuki,
a Professor at the Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University,
had provided me with about Northern berries (Haskap, Aronia, and Seaberry).

I am even so excited to be involved in the planning, development and sales of beauty products,
and through that, to be able to meet the commonality and diversity of the world of plants of Hokkaido.

I think that consumers would also like to be involved in nature
to think about better distribution methods, which will lead to a step toward
solving the SDG (sustainable development goals) problem.

 

Part 1: (by Komina Obara)

In my childhood, my uncle – an engineer who had
a deep interest in surveying ecosystems, used to take me to birdwatching
and other wildlife observation activities.

While he was absorbed in his research, I was playing with butterbur ‘as tall as me’ as an umbrella,
climbing trees like Tarzan boy or covering myself in mud and playing with nature like a friend.

He taught me how to tell the difference between crows’ species
according to their sounds or about endangered species for example,
and when he found a baby Japanese grass lizard in his garden which he considered
as the breeding ground for wild flora and fauna and used to call it biotope.

Because of my childhood, I feel relaxed in a place and atmosphere
where I can be in touch with nature. 
Of course I like the splendid world of the beauty
industry, but I feel more relaxed when in contact with nature.
 

When I was a language student in Australia in 2001,
I heard stories about “strangler figs” that grow naturally in the rainforests of Australia
by wrapping around host trees and causing their death.
“Do plants have emotions?”, “are the regional characteristics of plants
different depending on their will?”- I was wondering…

That experience still enriches my creativity even now as I would like to live
close to the abundant nature of Hokkaido, and I am interested as a consumer to know
what kind of characteristics does Hokkaido have
and how much potential local production for local consumption does it have?

It was at that time when I heard interesting facts about the Northern berries such as Haskap.

According to Professor Suzuki from the Graduate School of Agriculture
in Hokkaido University, there are various interesting berries in the Northern region,
such as Hokkaido’s unique and legendary ‘Haskap’, which is called the fruit of perpetual youth and longevity,
‘Aronia’ containing a large amount of anthocyanins,
and ‘Seaberry’ containing a large amount of palmitoleic acid, which has good effect on the freshness of the skin.
I also heard from Dr. Sato from the Northern Berry Research Institute that in Russia for example,
there is a unique cultivation method of these berries using maggots as an eco-friendly fertilizer
in order to maximize the cost-efficiency.

I would be thrilled to see the commonality and diversity
of the world of plants in the same Northern region.

I think that consumers would also like to be involved in nature to think
about better distribution methods, which will lead to a step toward solving the SDGs problem.

 

② Part 2: Circumstance of introduction of small fruit trees cultivation to Hokkaido and current situation
(By 
Professor Suzuki, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University)

  1. The state of small fruit trees cultivation in Hokkaido

According to the data compiled by the Division of Agricultural Products Promotion,
Production Promotion Bureau, Hokkaido Agricultural Administration Department,
the cultivated area (and fruit production) of small fruit trees in Hokkaido in 2013 was by order:
1) Haskap 90.2ha (105.3t),
2) Aronia 48.2ha (38.0t),
3) Blueberry 44.6ha (48.3t),
4) Seaberry 5.0ha (5.0t),
5) Raspberry 4.9 (3.6t),
6) Redcurrant 4.7 (2.5t).

Among all these, the cultivated area allocated to Haskap
has been stable at around 90ha for the past few years, whereas
Aronia’s and blueberries are on the rise.

  2. The introduction of small fruit trees cultivation to Hokkaido

Haskap is a small fruit tree that has widely spread out from Siberia to the Far East.
There are several varieties of Haskap, but all of them belong to the honeysuckle family.

The variety cultivated in Hokkaido is called in Japanese (Kurominouguisukagra).
It grows naturally in the fields of Yufutsu region.

The cultivation of Haskap in Hokkaido has started when
the “Tomakomai Eastern Large-Scale Industrial Development Basic Plan”
was approved by Hokkaido Development Council in 1971.

Aronia is a Rosaceae plant that is native to Eastern North America.
Aronia is actually a genus name that encompasses multiple species, of which
only A. Melanocarpa (Black chokeberry) is cultivated in Japan.
Its place of origin is North America, but a breeding process had been carried out
in the former Soviet Union, and strains with larger fruits
and earlier maturity than the original species have been cultivated.

Seaberry is a plant belonging to the Elaeagnaceae species
which is affiliated to the genus Hippophae. It is native to Eurasia
(from Northern Europe to Central Asia and China).
The Seaberry tree has excellent cold resistance, salt resistance
and drought resistance, and grows on oligotrophic soil,
so it is also used for tree planting aimed at greening the deserts.

 

 

 

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