Huckleberry Picking is On!
According to the Spokesman Review …
The same weather that brought a thin snowpack, early runoff and an explosive wildfire season has delivered something that is infinitely more positive: an early and flavorful huckleberry crop.
Berries are now ripening at all elevations, and the word is getting out. Pickers are appearing on Inland Northwest slopes in good numbers.
Highlights from article include ….
The fruit is generally found above 4,000 feet in elevation and is a dominant shrub type in subalpine zones. However, there are small patches of lower-elevation huckleberries, including a number of tantalizing bushes in areas like Priest Lake.
But most huckleberry picking occurs up the slopes, often along hiking trails and old gravel roads….
…For many locals, Mount Spokane State Park is the closest, easiest place to go for berries even though there are many other locations where the berrying is at least as good or better.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort has its ninth annual Huckleberry Festival set for Aug. 2, with picking tours and a “huckle shuttle” to ferry pickers back and forth from the patches.
Priest Lake had its huckleberry festival Saturday.
In Wallace, the town’s huckleberry festival is set for Aug. 14 and 15….
…Huckleberries are found all over the mountain at Schweitzer, and that includes the ski runs. The same goes for Mt. Spokane and the 49 Degrees North ski area at Chewelah Peak.
Despite the early season, some reports indicate that berry production is spotty in places. Dry areas exposed to sun and heat are not producing as well. Berries may also be small….
… Inland Northwest forests contain numerous habitats, many of which offer more shade and moisture. While temperatures reached triple digits in the valleys in late June, temperatures at upper elevations didn’t top the 80s.
And some stress is good for the berries, said author Asta Bowen, who wrote “The Huckleberry Book.” The amount of water a huckleberry gets from melting snow and seasonal rains will dictate flavor intensity. Less water yields more flavor.
Since this year’s berries have been growing on limited moisture, the huckleberries should prove to be tasty….
Also quoted in the article is Asta Bowen and her book: The Huckleberry Book.
Her book is filled with fun stories, information and recipes.
You can find Asta Bowen’s book on our sister site: Tastes of Idaho.