In an effort to preserve grizzly bear habitat, areas of Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada is banning commercial huckleberry harvesting.

Kootenay Boundary BC Banning Commercial Huckleberry Harvesting

Here are some of the new regulations, according to E-Know:

From July 15 to Oct. 15, commercial-scale picking of huckleberries is prohibited in some areas of the Kootenay Boundary region, including Little Moyie and Kid Creek west of Moyie and Iron Creek/Sand Creek and Sportsman Ridge/Upper Flathead River west and south of Fernie and Monk Creek, west of Creston.

These areas have been identified as critical foraging zones for grizzly bears and other wildlife species. These areas are of high traditional value to First Nations, a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development press release explained.

In case you are wondering what exactly is considered to be commercial-scale picking, the Nelson Star explains:

Commercial-scale harvesting is defined as:

  • Harvest or possession of huckleberries exceeding 10 litres per person, per season
  • Use of mechanical pickers, or any device other than hand-picking
  • Harvest of any amount of huckleberries for the purpose of resale

If you were planning a trip to pick huckleberries in this area, the following is a link to a map identifying the closed areas are available online: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/eco/access.htm

Related story here: Commercial ban on huckleberry picking

Related story here: Huckleberries in jeopardy

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Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Posted June 27, 2018 By sandy

You may have heard of huckleberry cheesecake or huckleberry ice cream, but have you heard of Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream?

I found this recipe on the Use Real Butter website and thought I would share it with you.

Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients

    Huckleberry sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen huckleberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • Graham cracker crust
  • heaping 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (or coarsely crushed graham crackers – as you like)
  • 1 1/2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter, melted
  • Cream cheese ice cream base
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp bourbon (optional – but yes, please)

Instructions

    Make the huckleberry sauce:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until the cornstarch has been completely incorporated (no lumps). Turn the heat to medium and stir for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the berries give up their juices. I like some whole berries in my ice cream (because huckleberries are small), so I only smash about a third of the berries with the back of a spoon. If using other berries, mash as you see fit. Remove from stove and let cool completely. Set aside.
  2. Mix the graham cracker crust:
  3. Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and use a fork to make the mixture uniform. It should look like wet sand. Set aside.
  4. Make the cream cheese ice cream base:
  5. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cream cheese, sugar, and salt together until smooth. With the food processor running, add the milk, cream, and bourbon (if using) through the pour hole until blended. Churn the cream cheese ice cream base in your ice cream maker according the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Assemble the ice cream:
  7. When the ice cream is churned to soft-serve consistency, spread half of the cream cheese ice cream into your vessel. Pour half of the huckleberry sauce over the ice cream. Sprinkle half of the graham cracker crust over the huckleberries. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Take a knife or spoon and run a few swirls (figure 8 works well for me) along the length of the ice cream, making sure you reach the bottom of the vessel. Freeze for several hours until firm. Makes about a quart.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/06/27/huckleberry-cheesecake-ice-cream/

Make sure you check out the complete article where they share lots of pictures and tips for making this delicious huckleberry ice cream

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Huckleberry Picking Rakes Myths

Posted June 14, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberry picking season is nearly here!  With all the talk about picking huckleberries, I am reminded that there are several misconceptions about using huckleberry rakes. 

So, I have decided to share some excerpts from an article I wrote awhile back on this particular issue:

What is the Real Story Behind Picking and Harvesting Wild Huckleberries?

There are many myths in the outdoor community concerning using huckleberry rakes and the history behind the huckleberry rakes. The International Wild Huckleberry Association, in particular, has received fiery responses from readers attacking the use and recommendation of using huckleberry rakes.

We would like to share with you some of the stories behind the myths and why they are just that — myths!!

Huckleberry Picking Rakes Damage Plants and Should Not Be Used in Wild Huckleberry Stands

Dr. Dan Barney (or Dr. Huckleberry!) has stated the following about the use of huckleberry rakes:

Dr. Barney demonstrating huckleberry rakes

“The use of rakes to harvest huckleberries has long been a highly emotional one. During the early 1900s when there existed a large commercial huckleberry industry in the Northwest, many pickers used rakes or other devices. This is well-documented in “A Social History of Wild Huckleberry Harvesting in the Pacific Northwest” – General Technical Report PNW-GTR-657, 2006, USDA-Forest Service by Rebecca Richards and Susan Alexander. If the rakes damaged the bushes and berry yields, the pickers would not have been able to return year-after-year to the same sites.

“I have harvested all nine species of western huckleberries and bilberries by hand and with rakes. Used properly, rakes cause little or no damage to the bushes. Our western huckleberry and bilberry species bear fruit on shoots which form that same (current) season. In other words, when you are harvesting berries, the wood that will bear next year’s crop does not exist yet. To damage next year’s crop, you would have to either break off fairly large shoots or damage the lateral buds along those shoots. I have not observed either type of damage when using rakes to harvest huckleberries or bilberries native to the northwestern United States.

“Rakes do not work well for some species due to small berry size, twig conformation, or the way the fruit is borne on the branches. For other species, rakes can be used to quickly harvest fruits without damaging the plants.

“If a harvester is breaking off twigs and leaves with a rake, then the rake is not being used properly and the harvester is going to spend a lot of time picking few berries and much more time than necessary cleaning them. In other words, they are not going to be making any money and are not likely to persist with the rake.

“I, personally, do not support … legislation banning mechanical harvesting devices.

“As for the U.S. Forest Service banning such devices, The only National Forest, to my knowledge, that does so is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in south-central Washington.

“I am far more concerned with the practice of cutting or breaking the branches off and harvesting the berries from the detached branches. This practice can severely damage the plants.

“Likewise, I have seen formerly productive colonies damaged by people digging up the plants, apparently with the idea of transplanting them in mind. Particularly sad is the fact that, for several native species, most of the transplants will die. Container-grown (huckleberry) plants transplant easily. There is no good reason for digging wild huckleberry or bilberry bushes from public land for transplanting.”

Dr. Danny L. Barney

March 7, 2007

The Native Americans Never Used Huckleberry Picking Rakes, so Neither Should We!

The myth about the damage caused by huckleberry rakes comes primarily from some members of the Native American community who, for cultural and spiritual reasons, do not like the use of man-made “tools” for picking huckleberries. So they’ve made broad claims about how damaging rakes are, and this myth is becoming an unfortunate urban legend over time, perpetrated by media which does no fact checking before putting misinformation into print.

Just as a point of fact, some Native Americans DO buy commercial picking rakes for huckleberries; and the FIRST HUCKLEBERRY RAKES or “combs” known to US history, were from native peoples, as reported on Page 8 of:

A Social History of Wild Huckleberry Harvesting in the Pacific Northwest” – General Technical Report PNW-GTR-657, 2006, USDA-Forest Service.

Native Americans used wooden hand-carved picking combs, or a raking tool made up of the backbone and one side of the rib cage from a salmon. Apparently, those tools worked quite well. And I am sure they were not out to rape the wild huckleberries or damage the plants.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Huckleberry Lemon Sherbet

Posted June 5, 2018 By sandy

Nothing says summer better than huckleberry ice cream and/or sherbet!

I found this wonderful recipe on the Edible Communities website — and just had to share it!

Huckleberry Lemon Sherbet

Huckleberry Lemon Sherbet

Ingredients

    For the Huckleberry Puree
  • 1 lb huckleberries (450g )
  • For the Sherbet
  • 1 cup Huckleberry Puree (200g)
  • ½ cup Buttermilk (100g)
  • ¼ cup Lemon juice (50g)
  • 1½ cups Milk (300g)
  • ½ cup Cream (100g)
  • ¾ cup Sugar (150g)
  • ½ cup Glucose (100g)
  • 1 teaspoon, packed Grated lemon zest (3g)
  • Texture agent of your choice

Instructions

    Texture Agents
  1. Best texture: Commercial stabilizer – 3g or 1 teaspoon. Mix with the sugar before it is added to the dairy.
  2. Least icy: Guar or xanthan gum. 1g or ¼ teaspoon. Whirl in a blender with the sherbet base after it is chilled in the ice bath.
  3. Easiest to use: Tapioca starch. 5g or 2 teaspoons / mixed with 20g or 2 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk into the dairy after it is finished cooking.
  4. Most accessible: Cornstarch. 10g or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon / mixed with 20g or 2 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk into the simmering dairy, then cook for 1 minute.
  5. Make the Huckleberry Puree
  6. Clean and cook. Remove any leaves from among the berries and rinse the berries in cold water. Place in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring with a spoon to help mash the berries, until they start to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the barriers for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have released all their juices and are bubbling and fragrant.
  7. Puree. Transfer the berries to a blender and let cool for 10 minutes. Blend on high speed until smooth.
  8. Strain and store. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve to catch as many seeds as possible. Huckleberry seeds are tiny and may be hard to catch; use the finest mesh strainer you have and push the puree through using a rubber spatula. Store the berry puree in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 3 months. Makes 2 cups.
  9. Make the huckleberry mixture. Whisk the huckleberry puree, buttermilk, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set in the refrigerator.
  10. Boil the dairy. Place the milk, cream, sugar, and glucose in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally to discourage the milk from scorching. When the dairy comes to a full rolling boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from heat.
  11. Infuse. Stir the lemon zest into the dairy, and allow it to infuse for 30 minutes.
  12. Strain and chill. Strain the infused sherbet base through a fine-mesh sieve, into a shallow metal or glass bowl, discarding zest. Fill a large bowl two-thirds of the way with a lot of ice and a little water. Nest the hot bowl into this ice bath, stirring occasionally until it cools down.
  13. Mix the base with the huckleberry mixture. When the base is cool to the touch (50°F or below), remove the bowl from the ice bath. Add the huckleberry mixture to the base, whisking until evenly combined.
  14. Strain. Strain the sherbet through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the particles of fruit that may remain intact. (This step is optional, but will help ensure the smoothest sherbet possible.)
  15. Cure. Transfer the sherbet base to the refrigerator to cure for 4 hours, or preferably overnight. (This step is also optional, but the texture will be much improved with it.)
  16. Churn. When you are ready to churn your sherbet, place it into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The sherbet is finished churning when it thickens into the texture of soft-serve ice cream and holds its shape, typically 20 to 30 minutes.
  17. Harden. To freeze your sherbet in the American hard-pack style, immediately transfer your finished sherbet to a container with an airtight lid. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the sherbet to prevent ice crystals from forming, cover, and store it in your freezer until it hardens completely, between 4 and 12 hours. Or, feel free to enjoy your sherbet immediately; the texture will be similar to soft-serve. Makes between 1 and 1 ½ quarts sherbet.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/06/05/huckleberry-lemon-sherbet/

Check out the full article

NOTE:  Reprinted from Hello, My Name is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop. Copyright © 2017 by Dana Cree. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Andrea D’Agosto. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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Huckleberry Vodka Lemonade

Posted May 20, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberries make delicious and  refreshing drinks.  Huckleberry and lemonade go together wonderfully …. but what happens when you add vodka?  You create a tasty adult drink.

I have two recipes you can try.  The first is from my own home state of Idaho (where they grow and make these best huckleberry products!!)

Huckleberry Vodka LemonadeHuckleberry Vodka Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 2 oz 44° North® Mountain Huckleberry Vodka
  • 6 oz Gluten Free Lemonade
Instructions

Shake all ingredients together, strain into a mason jar over rocks. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint.

NOTE:  Check out all the delicious drinks listed on the 44° North® website

 

Another great recipe starts out with Huckleberry Lemonade

Huckleberry Lemonade with Vodka

Ingredients

One part huckleberry lemonade concentrate
Two parts water
Half part vodka (or adjust to your personal taste)

Instructions

Mix well and serve over ice
The bottle is large enough to make enough servings for a party!!

 

You can find Huckleberry Lemonade on our sister site:  Tastes of Idaho

 

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Huckleberries are wonderful and versatile little berries that work well in many different savory dishes and delectable desserts.

One of my favorite huckleberry deserts is huckleberry milk shakes.  Creamy ice cream matched with huckleberries creates a wonderfully refreshing dessert that you can drink!

If you still have frozen huckleberries in your freezer, here is a perfect recipe to try:

Huckleberry Milk Shakes

Huckleberry Milk Shakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of high quality vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup huckleberries
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed. Add more huckleberries if you want a little more huckleberry flavor and more milk if needed.
  2. Top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and enjoy immediately.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/05/04/how-to-make-homemade-huckleberry-milk-shakes/

Read the complete article here

If you do not have any fresh or frozen berries on hand, we have an easy option for you.  Huckleberry Milkshake Mixer

On our sister site, Tastes of Idaho, we feature a thick huckleberry milk shake mixer that will transform your ice cream mixture into a tasty huckleberry milkshake.

We suggest that you replace the half cup of fresh/frozen berries with about 1/4 cup of mixer.  Taste and add more mixer to suit your particular liking.

Easy and quick, and you can buy the huckleberry milk shake mixer online from Tastes of Idaho!

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Huckleberry BBQ Sauce goes wild!

Posted April 5, 2018 By sandy

If you are a Huckleberry BBQ sauce lover, we have a deal for you!Huckleberry BBQ Sauce, 64 oz.

For the first time ever, Tastes of Idaho is offering a whopping half gallon – 64 oz. bottle – of Gem Berry’s award-winning, original huckleberry barbecue sauce. 

Gem Berry’s kitchen put out a limited supply of these ‘party-sized’ bottles.  If you can’t get enough Huckleberry BBQ sauce, this item is for you! 
 
Packaged in a convenient half-gallon plastic container, you can refrigerate to use all season long, or for your next block party!
Huckleberry BBQ Sauce
Supply is limited to stock on hand. When they are gone, they are gone.
 
This top-selling barbecue sauce uses whole huckleberries (and some blueberries) in a perfect savory tomato sauce. Great on salmon, poultry, or as a side condiment for virtually any kind of meat or seafood!
 
Also available in a 16-ounce bottle with a striking label.

You can order either size Huckleberry BBQ Sauce bottle here.

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Creamy Huckleberry Dessert Cups

Posted March 22, 2018 By sandy

If you are looking for a simple creamy style huckleberry dessert, this recipe for single dish dessert looks elegant and wonderful!!

Creamy Huckleberry Dessert Cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: Four

Creamy Huckleberry Dessert Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce container of real sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c frozen huckleberries
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Cool whip or whip cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl add the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Mix with wire whip and add more or less sugar to your taste..a little on the sweet side to complement the berries.
  2. In 4 custard dishes, add 1/4 cup of frozen huckleberries into each dish. Divide the sour cream mixture evenly between the custard dishes on top of the berries.
  3. Mixed the berries into the sour cream until it looks purple..
  4. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake in oven until the brown sugar has melted and starts to caramelized. About 10 minutes.
  5. Add a little Cool Whip or whip cream and enjoy!
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/03/22/creamy-huckleberry-dessert-cups/

Enjoy!

 

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Fun Facts About Huckleberries

Posted March 7, 2018 By sandy

I recently ran across a website that lists obscure facts about different plants and animals.

This month they published 23 Fun And Interesting Facts About Huckleberry.  I’d like to share a few here:

1. The name “huckleberry” is a North American variation of the English Fun Facts About Huckleberriesdialectal name variously called “hurtleberry” or “whortleberry” for the bilberry….

4. Four species of huckleberries in the genus Gaylussacia are common in eastern North America, especially G. baccata, which is also known as the black huckleberry….

5. From coastal Central California to southern Washington and British Columbia, the red huckleberry, Vaccinium parvifolium, is found in the maritime influenced plant community.

6. The red huckleberry can be found primarily in the Pacific Northwest and the mountains of Montana and Idaho….

9. Huckleberry was one of the few plant species to survive on the slops of Mount St. Helens when the volcano erupted in 1980, and exists as a prominent mountain slope bush in 2017….

11. The garden huckleberry isn’t a true huckleberry, but instead a member of the nightshade family….

16. In the wild, huckleberries are often eaten by bears, birds, coyotes and deer.

17. The tiny size of huckleberries led to their use as a way of referring to something small, often affectionately as in the lyrics of Moon River….

19. The range of slang meanings of huckleberry in the 19th century was large, but it often referred to either a significant person or a nice person.

20. Huckleberries were often compared to persimmons, which are much larger, to express the idea of something small against something big. This eventually led to the popular phrase, “a huckleberry over my persimmon,” which meant something was just beyond one’s abilities.

21. Huckleberries have a high iron content, which improves blood circulation.

22. They help speed up the metabolism and promote healthier muscle tone.

23. It’s a good source of vitamin C, which means that it helps develop resistance to fight against immune deficiencies.

Read all 23 Fun and Interesting Facts About Huckleberry

 

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Huckleberry Hand Pies

Posted February 21, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberry treats are so much fun when you can make them with a group of kids and/or adults.

Huckleberry Hand Pies are a perfect recipe for a group project!

Huckleberry Hand Pies

Huckleberry Hand Pies

Ingredients

  • All Butter Vodka Dough (Click link for recipe)
  • FILLING
  • 3 cups huckleberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • EGG WASH
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons sparkling sugar, turbinado sugar or granulated

Instructions

    PIE DOUGH PREP
  1. Once your pie dough has chilled, on a lightly-floured counter, roll one disk to 1/8"-1/4" thickness.
  2. Using a 5"-6" round cookie cutter or other round template stamp out circles of the rolled dough. Gather the dough scraps together, form a disk and re-roll, cut more dough rounds.
  3. Transfer the dough rounds to a lined baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining disk of dough.
  4. HUCKLEBERRY HAND PIE FILLING
  5. Place the huckleberries in a mixing bowl. Add the zest and juice of one lemon, sprinkle wish sugar and toss to coat. Stir in the tapioca starch and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  6. SHAPE & BAKE
  7. Preheat oven to 375°.
  8. Remove the chilled dough rounds from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes until just pliable.
  9. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of huckleberry filling onto one half of each round of dough. Lightly brush a small amount of cold water around the edges of the of the dough rounds, then fold the round in half creating a half-moon shape.
  10. Gently seal the edges by pressing together. Then create a decorative crimp by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork.
  11. Repeat process with remaining dough rounds. Place the hand pies back on the lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator or freezer to chill for another 30 minutes.
  12. Whisk 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of water and dash of salt together in a small bowl.
  13. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the hand pies with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated, sparkling or turbinado sugar. Cut three small slits in the top of each hand pie.
  14. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown, about 20 - 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
  15. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool before serving.

Notes

Don't have vodka? Swapped out the vodka in the pie dough for apple cider vinegar. Both work well and evaporate quickly, creating a crispy flaky pie crust.

http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/02/21/huckleberry-hand-pies-2/

Check out the full story behind this recipe — including numerous photos of making this with a group of kids!!

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