Berry family branches out

By Roger Moroney

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Jacob Hanna, 11, picks boysenberries at Hanna Berry Farm, near Hastings. Photo / Paul Taylor
Jacob Hanna, 11, picks boysenberries at Hanna Berry Farm, near Hastings. Photo / Paul Taylor

The boysenberry may not exactly enjoy the longest season, at just six weeks, but that does not prevent the fine fruit from being available all year round across the Hawke's Bay market.

The Hanna folks have seen to that.

And, yep, "fresh" is the word.

The boysenberry is a remarkably versatile member of the berry family, which has been underlined by the path Bruce Hanna and the family have taken.

Hanna Berry Farm is a family business which was sparked up by Bruce's dad, Bill Hanna.

During the early 1980s, the market was effectively local processors, or overseas buyers in the US and Scandanavia, for whom berries were block frozen.

The fields, however, were hit hard by frosts in the early 2000s and Bruce changed strategy. It has been to everyone's benefit ... especially everyone's taste buds.

He began experimenting with different boysenberry products to create a fine mix of fare.

What he and the crew arrived at has really pushed the not-so-humble boysenberry into the spotlight.

For example, Boysenberry and Port Dessert Sauce - superb with vanilla icecream.

And there is Boysenberry Chutney, Boysenberry and Tomato Sauce, Boysenberry Jam, Boysenberry Salad Splash and their popular Boysenberry Buckle which is a superbly delicious and moist cake that goes well when drizzled with the Boysenberry and Port Dessert Sauce.

But it's not just the taste that Hanna Berry Farm's fine fare has on its side, there is the health ingredient.

They are, very good for you and are seen as one of nature's superfoods.

And, as Bruce said: "The valuable health properties are not lost by freezing so you can get a berry boost at any time of the year."

Hanna Berry Farm:

* 84 Longlands Rd East, Hastings

* Phone (06) 873 4570.

* Website: hannaberryfarm.co.nz

- Hawkes Bay Today

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