The sweetest new berry in Scotland

The sweetest new berry in Scotland

Stewart Arbuckle of Invergowrie's Star Inn Farm has planted Scotland's first honeyberry orchard

Its name in Japanese translates as 'little present at the end of the branch', and the honeyberry could certainly be a present to Angus.

These blue berries, that look like an elongated blueberry, are currently grown in Japan and North America, where they are a popular fruit.

Some say it tastes like a cross between a raspberry, blueberry and blackberry. Others insist it is more like elderflower, and those in disagreement maintain it has a flavour all of its own.

One thing is for sure: honeyberries are good for you, with plenty of antioxidants, more vitamin C than an orange and more potassium than a banana. And the seedless fruits, blue all the way through, make colourful juices, ice-creams, sauces and even gin.

Stewart Arbuckle planted Scotland's first orchard of honeyberries on his family's Star Inn Farm in Invergowrie in 2016. He realised the berries would grow well in the cool climate under polytunnels —to keep the pigeons off — and is even growing plants to sell to gardeners.

And he was confident the trend for healthy eating and demand for exotic foods would mean the berry would sell. 'I was looking for the next exciting berry,' he says. The honeyberry may just be it.

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