New Huckleberry Rakes In Stock!

Our new shipment of huckleberry rakes are currently in stock!

Huckleberry rake with wire tines

Huckleberry rake with wire tines

Received out pallet load of huckleberry rakes on Monday.  Since we are right on the edge on huckleberry season, we were anxious to get this pallet load ready for delivery to our customers.  But, low and behold, we opened the first case to label and deliver and realized the sent us the WRONG RAKES!!  The pickers we are selling have wire tines whereas the new ones have plastic tines.

NOTE: Huckleberry rake with wire tines that we have been selling is pictured on the left.  The Huckleberry rake with the plastic tines is pictured on the right.

Huckleberry Rake with Plastic Tines

The plastic in the “new” model is very thick, stiff and durable, and yet very pliable, so the rakes are well engineered. Spacing between tines is identical to the metal tines.

Both models were field tested two years ago, and any difference in performance with the metal toothed verses the plastic toothed was negligible.

So, since this was not the rakes we ordered, we received a great deal on this pallet load that we are extending to all of our customers.

Check out our website for details … and happy huckleberry picking!!

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10 Comments

  1. Comment by Mike Werner:

    where in spokane can I pick one of these up at?

  2. Comment by sandy:

    Mike, They can be bought at Marketplace Gifts in Spokane Valley Mall, Marketplace Gifts in Northtown Mall, Spokane or the General Store on Division in Spokane. Check our huckleberry rakes website for the address and phone numbers.

    Thanks! Sandy

  3. Comment by katie g:

    Raping the huckleberry plant with a “Huckleberry Rake” should be illegal as these plants are difficult enough to find and they cannot be contained by man. They are a natural wonder and you pilagers kill them for commercial interests. What are we to do when you kill off all of the berry patches? Greed is the root of all evil. I hope you can live with yourselves after you sell your souls. Pick with your natural god given Huckleberry rakes I.E HANDS and save some plants for the non-lazy rest of us.

  4. Comment by Mr. Huckleberry:

    Greetings, Katie,

    I appreciate your passion for the huckleberry resource!

    However, if you had ever seen a huckleberry rake used, you would not make such outlandish comments.

    In fact, most users of huckleberry rakes or “pickers” as they are often called, are NOT commercial huckleberry harvesters, but weekend outdoor lovers and families, trying to squeeze a bit more berry out of their day in the woods.

    And when used properly, they do little or no damage to the plant. AND, if they are not used properly, you get so many leaves that cleaning the berries a nightmare. So doing a bad job of raking is counter productive.

    (And in terms of damage to the plants, the leaves fall off anyway not long after the berry crop is over. Rakes are not the problem.)

    I have videos of someone using a huckleberry rake for the first time, at http://www.HuckleberryRake.com… as you can see, there is NO damage to any of the plants. In fact, people using rakes return to the same patch year after year. Also on that site, I offer detailed verbal instructions on how to use a rake effectively, so as not to damage a valuable huckleberry bush. Most of us who use rakes or pickers feel tremendous affinity toward this most precious of Mother Nature’s gifts (i.e. wild huckleberries).

    Not sure what part of the country you are from, but while it does take a bit of asking around and driving in the mountains to find good patches when you are a newbie, there are tens of thousands of acres of good huckleberry habitat in each of Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California. Of course, the primary species varies a bit among those locations — and you need to know where to look, which is a skill to develop… if you are not lazy;-).

    And of course, huckleberries are quite easy to grow from seed, and other methods. There is even a booklet out on how to do it, and several nurseries carry seedlings of various wild huckleberry species, which they do in fact grow from seed and by other means.

    GROWING WESTERN HUCKLEBERRIES

    “You can’t grow huckleberries” is a complete myth, just like “Huckleberry rakes damage plants!” Looks like you’ve bought into all of the myths on this topic.

    An interesting side note… it is also is easy to improve native wild stands of huckleberries… that research was done years ago at the University of Montana. Sorry, I do not have a link handy to point you toward.

    The premier expert and researcher on western huckleberries (from the genus Vaccinium), is Dr. Danny L. Barney, with the University of Idaho extension service. (Dr. Barney is the researcher who developed the technology for growing western huckleberry species in a cultivated scenario, for example from seed).

    Here is what he has to say about 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

    Again, Katie, I appreciate your passion for the resource, but in my experience, ignorance is a greater evil than greed. Please take the time to become educated on an issue like this before you curse people’s souls. I sense that you are a frustrated huckleberry picker, and are just lashing out… but your words are pretty strong for someone who knows very little about what they are talking about.

    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 mis-information 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.

    I don’t personally believe using an effective tool is being “lazy” as you put it… I guess if you walk or ride a horse to all your outdoor locations – instead of driving a vehicle, and collect your berries with a personally hand-woven basket – instead of a commercially purchased bucket or cooler, then I salute your principles. However, just because I want to get my tiny fraction of huckleberries in less time, so I can enjoy other outdoor pursuits, does not make me lazy.

    And if you have proof that certain huckleberry picking devices or harvesting methods are actually damaging stands of huckleberries, I am right there with you, working to make that illegal. Bad practices or devices hurt the resource, and can curtail truly useful harvesting tactics.

    I have suggested to concerned Forest Service officials, that one option is to certify or approve picking tools, and that all commercial harvesting crews be required to watch a training video on how to harvest berries without damaging the plants. Of course, that sounded like too much work to them… but over time, this is a more effective answer than what I fear might be coming.

    I personally support increased management and protection of wild huckleberry stands, but a blanket ban on picking devices is counter productive. What should be outlawed, is cutting or breaking off entire plants, or even branches, to make it easier to pick off the berries. Both commercial and recreational huckleberry pickers are guilty of this!!

    I’ve seen families where the man of the house, goes down the hill, cuts out stacks of huckleberry plants, and takes them up to the road where the kids can pick while setting on the road or the tailgate of the pickup… this has nothing to do with commercial greed, this is the “lazy” you are talking about and very DAMAGING to the huckleberry resource. Something else will likely grow in the space where that patch once thrived.

    I also predict we will eventually see more regulation of huckleberry picking to balance commercial and recreational interests… just like the fight between commercial and sport salmon fishing, the same issue is brewing with huckleberries.

    Many people make a living “wildcrafting” from our native forests, for berries, mushrooms, cones, crafting materials, and floral greens, so I hate to see quotas or limits which will just create more criminals… as it will not stop people from trying to make a living. And these harvesting crews fuel many tens of millions of dollars in value-added commerce vital to a number of rural economies in the Pacific Northwest.

    I do think that in more densely populated areas, reserving some accessible huckleberry picking spots during the early part of the season for recreational users might make sense. But once it (regulation) starts, not sure where it will end… politics seems to rarely result in a situation most people can live with, when it comes to natural resources.

    More discussion on this topic?

    Alternative points of view welcome.

    Malcolm

  5. Ping from Do Huckleberry Rakes Damage Plants?:

    […] From katie g on New Huckleberry Rakes In Stock! Raping the huckleberry plant with a “Huckleberry Rake” should be illegal as these plants are difficult enough to find and … […]

  6. Comment by Dan Driver:

    I have many huckleberry bushes on my property, but they are all of the v. ovatum or v. parvifolium species. Would the rake be useful in harvesting them, or are the berries too small to be caught by the teeth? I enjoy picking huckleberries, but it takes an hour to pick a quart.

  7. Comment by sandy:

    Hi Dan,

    Congrats for having huckleberries right on your property!

    The tines on the huckleberry rakes are 3/16 of an inch apart at the outside edges. Some species are marginal and would benefit from a 1/8 tine distance.

    Really, the only way to know for sure would be to try one.

    Sandy

  8. Comment by Katrina:

    Where can I buy a huckleberry rake in Issaquah, WA (Seattle Area – eastside)

  9. Comment by sandy:

    Sorry, Katrina, we don’t know who, if anyone, is stocking huckleberry rakes in Issaquah, Washington!

  10. Comment by Bob Ellsworth:

    I hope the person who went off on raping bushes chokes on a bowl of very dry granola since they obviously don’t get off the blacktop or into the woods much. I live on the Olympic Peninsula and we have more “real” Huckleberrys than you can imagine. I pick by hand but may get a rake this year just to see how it goes. By myself I keep grandma, our household and a couple others in Berrys all winter. We are fortunate of course but there are many here and unlike what you folks in Idaho call Huckleberrys the real ones on the peninsula are alot smaller so I’m not sure how a rake will do. Your berries are more like Blueberries to us over here. Merry Christmas to all, even the black top and concrete dwellers.
    Bob

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