Horse Hill Berry Farm

Horse Hill Berry Farm Tour

Take a road trip to Horse Hill Berry Farms, a 10-acre urban U-pick farm owned by Jackie and Dave Wilson.  Located on the very edge of Edmonton, this farm is tucked away just off Highway 15, but the experience here is worth the trek.  Jackie and Dave are operating Horse Hill Berry Farms on the very land Jackie’s grandfather farmed back in the 1880’s.  Talk about tradition!  The couple started planting their raspberry bushes in 2007, and opened to the public as a U-pick farm in 2010.

There is over 10 acres of farmland which is used to grow six – yes, you read it, SIX – varieties of raspberries: Red Bounty, Killarney, K-81-6, Mammoth, Nova, and, of course, Boyne raspberries!

A little more about the individual varieties:

Red Bounty Raspberries

  • Grow so large that the plants bend over with the weight of the berries!
  • Origin: University of Saskatchewan
  • Season: Mid-season
  • Fruit Quality: A fragile berry with a good flavour
  • Red Bounty raspberries are great for jam!

Killarney Raspberries

  • An all-around great berry! (Boyne’s cousin)
  • Origin: Manitoba
  • Season: Mid-season
  • Fruit Quality: A sweet, large, very firm berry
  • Killarney raspberries are excellent for fresh eating, are fair for freezing, but are poor for canning

 K-81-6 Raspberries

  • Huge raspberries!
  • Origin: Nova Scotia
  • Season: Late season
  • Fruit Quality: A medium-red, medium-firm berry.
  • K-81-6 raspberries are perfect for fresh eating or for freezing

 Mammoth Raspberries

  • These plants are a steady producer of flavourful berries
  • Origin: University of Saskatoon; Muskoka parentage
  • Season: Mid- to late-season
  • Fruit Quality: A dark, flavourful, medium-sized berry
  • Mammoth raspberries are great for eating, canning, and freezing

Nova Raspberries

  • An all-around nice raspberry!
  • Origin: Nova Scotia
  • Season: early in the season
  • Fruit Quality: A firm, shiny, dark red berry with a tart flavour
  • Nova raspberries are excellent for fresh eating, freezing, and canning

 Boyne Raspberries

  • Your classic backyard raspberry
  • Origin: Manitoba
  • Season: Early
  • Fruit Quality: A dark, flavourful, small raspberry
  • Boyne raspberries are great for fresh eating, canning, and freezing

While I was here, I got to head out and pick my own raspberries (useful tip: coat yourself in the provided bug spray before heading out or you WILL get eaten alive by mosquitos!).  I only made it through the first few rows, but managed to fill about half of my container with juicy, delicious berries.  Jackie and Dave had also prepared raspberry apple juice and fresh raspberry apple pie for guests to enjoy once they were done picking raspberries.  I honestly dreamed of that pie that night…

I’m going to make sure that I keep a watch out for when the raspberry season starts at Horse Hill Berry Farms next year so I can get out and enjoy all the varieties in their prime.  Thank you to Jackie and Dave for being so welcoming to everyone who was visiting with Alberta Open Farm Days!