A Hike and More Wild Berries

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Berry picking wasn’t the end goal, but we did enjoy the variety as we hiked up B*** Creek Canyon so the kids could swim at the waterfall yesterday. Lots of thimbleberries, Oregon grape, wax currants (these ones were tastier than others I’ve tried before – sweeter and less waxy), and whitestem gooseberries. Also saw some sticky currants.


 

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Thimbleberries are my favorite trailside snack. They’re like a tart, velvety raspberry liqueur in a fruit. They fall apart in your hand and it’s easy to see why they aren’t widely cultivated. They have enormous leaves and produce just a few berries per cane, but are well worth a wade through the underbrush.


 

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Oregon grapes are kind of tart, but should be good to add some vitamin C and other nutrition to our kefir smoothies.


There are a few¬†very poisonous berries¬†around, and a good guidebook is a must. This one is our favorite. It’s small enough to fit into a cargo pocket, and exhaustive in its coverage.

Wild Berries & Fruits Field Guide of the Rocky Mountain States
by Teresa Marrone


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Wildcrafted Huckleberries

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What’s even better than eating food harvested from a food forest you planted? Free food harvested from the woods, that’s what!

We drove up into the National Forest east of here in search of huckleberries this afternoon. We found some huckleberries and a lot more of what we think are serviceberries, or another similar wild berry in the blueberry family. Huckleberries must be a truly slimming food – I’m sure you burn more calories moving around and bending over to pick the minuscule things up than you get from eating them. And we’re not even getting into the gas we burn to drive up to where they grow. But it’s an excuse to hang out in the woods, and that’s enough. Yummy berries are just the icing on the cake. Speaking of baked things, some will probably end up in muffins, although some will be jealously guarded from the bakers by yours truly, as I like them best fresh.

My youngest said she was chilly, so I loaned her my long-sleeved shirt.

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