Huckleberries near Montana/Idaho border

Although huckleberries are the Idaho state fruit, huckleberries grow near the Montana/Idaho border (and other states) too!  

The article below is from the Clark Fork Valley Press/Mineral Independent website: It’s huck time in Western Montana

Following are some interesting excerpts from the article:

This purple gold, which is a cousin to the blueberry, is attested by locals to be sweeter and far more flavorful, are treasures to be found. These plump and juicy treats have to be worked for however, as residents and visitors to area mountains scour hillsides in search of a tasty bounty. …

Jen Cheesman has been working at the St. Regis Gift Shop for almost six years. She laughed, “I’ve had people order a huckleberry shake at 6 a.m.” …

With this in mind, owner of the St. Regis Travel Center and Gift Shop, Muffy Bullock has to carefully plan out her business’s stock of huckleberries each year to keep up with customer demands.

She explained, “We buy from commercial pickers! We have to buy so many to get through to the next season that we store them on pallets in a commercial freezer storage facility in Spokane. …

In the frenzy of summer tourism, the St. Regis Travel Center and Gift Shop has to prepare great quantities of their huckleberry mixtures. Bullock exclaimed, “We can make maybe 50 gallons of huckleberry topping for our shakes during a busy week in the summer!” …

Huckleberries near the Montana/Idaho border

If you have not visited the St. Regis Travel Center and Gift Shop, it is definitely worth the trip.  Along with their large selection of huckleberry products, they offer some wonderful Rocky Mountain gifts and foods.  Fun place to visit if you are in the area.

Author Amy Quinlivan ends the article with a cautionary note:

Now if you’re new to finding hucks, don’t go out and ask your neighbor, that would be about as taboo as asking a buddy for his favorite hunting or fishing spots.

Instead head off onto just about any Forest Service road and drive up. Seek out sub-alpine forests with 50 percent tree coverage, the plants need a good amount of sunlight to produce a harvest of berries. Large quantities of bushes can be found in 20-50-year-old burn areas, older clear-cuts, and along avalanche chutes. ..

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