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Huckleberries are not only enjoyed by avid pickers, but they are a major source of food for the grizzly bear.

According to the Daily Inter Lake website, 17-year old Hunter Dana found out how dangerous bears can be during his recent huckleberry picking expedition.

Berry picker has harrowing grizzly bear encounter

… Dana, of Columbia Falls, hiked up to his family’s usual huckleberry-picking spot near Hungry Horse and sat down to pick. Dana’s mother, Jennifer Wheat-Dana, said that her son reported “something didn’t feel right.”

One of Dana’s empty gallon jugs clanked against another jug and the sow came flying out of the woods.

“She kept coming after him,” Wheat-Dana said. “He would spray her, get away, and she was coming again. She followed him clear around the lake.”

At one point, the sow charged Dana, he sprayed her, and her nail caught his pant leg and tripped him. The spray had subdued her enough for him to get up and get moving, she said.

Dana is scratched from the underbrush and hit the ground hard but is uninjured. He lost his voice from screaming at the bear.

Dana’s father was on the phone with him during the attack, and simultaneously called 911 with a co-worker’s phone.

When Wheat-Dana arrived, Flathead County Sheriff’s deputies and a game warden had already arrived. Dana was picked up at the south end of the lake…

NBC Montana also picked up the story and included a video interview with Dana.  Check it out here: Kalispell teenager’s bear scare serves as a reminder. 

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Reports of Bumper Huckleberry Crop for 2017

Posted June 23, 2017 By sandy

This time of the year the question for huckleberry lovers is what is the forecast for the huckleberry crop this year?

Heavy snow pack and the wet springs typically make great conditions for a good huckleberry crop.

Huckleberry Crop

Here is what Rick Landers, outdoor writer for the Spokesman Review, said about what he found while hiking in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington earlier this month:

I hiked several areas this past week and saw for myself. And I’ve received photos from several readers. All reports indicate huckleberry bushes loaded with blossoms from Pend Oreille County through the Idaho Pandhandle.

Of course, there could be some areas with less abundance, but for now the general forecasts is, well, SaaaWEET.

WONDERFUL NEWS!!

If you have been out and about in huckleberry country, please let us know what you found.  Pictures always welcome!

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Origin of “I’m Your Huckleberry”

Posted January 13, 2017 By sandy

Have you ever pondered where the saying, “I’m your huckleberry” came from and what it actually means?

Maybe you remember the line that was made famous by Val Kilmer in the movie:  “Tombstone”.  But where did he get the phrase?

Victoria Wilcox:  The Art of Story website shares some information on the topic:

I’m Your Huckleberry

Historical Background … From World Wide Words: Quite how I’m your huckleberry came out of all that with the sense of the man for the job isn’t obvious. It seems that the word came to be given as a mark of affection or comradeship to one’s partner or sidekick. There is often an identification of oneself as a willing helper or assistant about it, as here in True to Himself, by Edward Stratemeyer, dated 1900: “ ‘I will pay you for whatever you do for me.’ ‘Then I’m your huckleberry. Who are you and what do you want to know?’ ”. Despite the obvious associations, it doesn’t seem to derive directly from Mark Twain’s books….

Literary Background …  (From Walter Noble Burns 1927 novel,Tombstone: An Iliad of the Southwest”).

“They say you’re the gamest man in the Earp crowd, Doc,” Ringo said. “I don’t need but three feet to do my fighting. Here’s my handkerchief. Take hold.”

Holliday took a quick step toward him.

I’m your huckleberry, Ringo,” replied the cheerful doctor. “That’s just my game.”

Holliday put out a hand and grasped the handkerchief. Both men reached for their six-shooters.

“No, you don’t,” cried Mayor Thomas, springing between them. “You’ll fight no handkerchief duel here. There’s been enough killing in Tombstone, and it’s got to stop.”

That ended it. Holliday went into the saloon. Ringo withdrew across the street.

According to Victoria ….

Huckleberries hold a place in archaic American English slang. The tiny size of the berries led to their use as a way of referring to something small, often affectionately as in the lyrics of Moon River. The phrase “a huckleberry over my persimmon” was used to mean “a bit beyond my abilities”. “I’m your huckleberry” is a way of saying that one is just the right person for a given job. The range of slang meanings of huckleberry in the 19th century was fairly large, also referring to significant persons or nice persons.

So, there you have it!

 

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Huckleberry Jello Cheese Cake

Posted October 14, 2016 By sandy

If you are one of those who found and picked huckleberries this last season, you probably want to carefully plan how you are going to use those huckleberries!

Last this summer, ChefSite4U.com posted the following recipe that I think would make a perfect huckleberry dessert for a party.

And, in case you find the recipe complicated, there is a nice video posted on the site, outlining the steps to make this delicious looking huckleberry dessert!

Huckleberry Jello Cheese Cake

Huckleberry Jello Cheese Cake

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • • 1 bag crushed oreos
  • • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • • 1 cup (200g) fresh or frozen huckleberries/blueberries
  • • 2 tbsp (25g) granulated sugar
  • • 1 tbsp honey
  • • 1.5 blocks (375g) cream cheese
  • • 3 tbsp (45g) granulated sugar
  • • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • • 375 mL whipping cream
  • • 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
  • • 2 envelops gelatin
  • • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • • 1/2 cup cold water
  • • 1 grape jello
  • • 1 cup cold water
  • • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions

  1. Prepare crust buy combining crushed oreos and butter. Press into a 9″ springform pan and flatten. Place crust in fridge to solidify.
  2. Place berries, sugar and honey in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until berries break down and sauce has thickened. Set aside to cool.
  3. Bloom gelatin in a small bowl by sprinkling it on top of 1/2 cup cold water, stir, then add 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Whip cream, and icing sugar in a medium bowl until stiff peaks have formed. Transfer whipped mixture to creamed mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Add gelatin and whip until mixture has no clumps remaining.
  7. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture onto the crust and level flat. Pop into the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the top of the layer before adding the huckleberry filling.
  8. Pour huckleberry filling on top of cheesecake layer and level as best as you can.
  9. Pour the remaining cream cheese mixture on top and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the top again and then transfer to the fridge until topping is ready.
  10. Make jello according to package and allow to cool to room temperature before pouring on the cheesecake. Once cooled, pour onto the top of the cheesecake and add some huckleberries to the jello all over the top. Place in the fridge to solidify at least 2 hours.
  11. Slice and serve once ready. Cake should be kept in the fridge and should be consumed within 2-3 days.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/10/14/huckleberry-jello-cheese-cake/

What do you think — wouldn’t this pie make a wonderful New Year’s Eve dessert!?

 

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Huckleberry Association Tee Shirts!!

Posted July 2, 2016 By sandy
For a limited time only:  Huckleberry Association Tee Shirts!!

Show your proud support for the wild huckleberry resource (and the wonderful goodies made from them) by getting this Tee featuring the International Wild Huckleberry Association Tee ShirtsHuckleberry official logo! These also make great gifts for your outdoorsy friends or family members.

This shirt is available in 7 different colors and ALL sizes, through Wednesday, July 6 — the peak of huckleberry season in Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington in the US, Alberta and British Columbia in Canada! (West Coast berries are usually a bit later!)

This is the FIRST Tee Shirt offering in support of the Association. Become a leader in huckleberry conservation and enjoyment by wearing your IWHA Tee with pride.

Order your Huckleberry tee shirt today!

PS We love photos… of you and/or your family members wearing the Tees (and/or out picking) … please email to HuckleberryAssociation@gmail.com and we will get them up on the blog and the Facebook page… thanks in advance!

Happy Huckleberry!

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Huckleberry Frozen Parfait

Posted June 23, 2016 By sandy

Summer is here and huckleberry season is right around the corner.

Huckleberry parfait sounds really good about now.

Here is a recipe from one of my favorite huckleberry cookbook:  Huckleberry Delights

Huckleberry Frozen Parfait

Serving Size: 4 to 6 servings

Huckleberry Frozen Parfait

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup huckleberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 oz. plan yogurt
  • 3 peaches, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan stir together huckleberries and sugar
  2. Mix cornstarch and water until smooth; add to huckleberry mixture
  3. Cook over medium hear, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; boil 1 minute
  4. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice, then cool
  5. Fold yogurt into cooled huckleberries
  6. In glasses, alternately layer huckleberry mixture with peaches and freeze
  7. Remove from freezer 1/2 before serving
  8. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped mint leaves for garnish
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/06/23/huckleberry-frozen-parfait/

Enjoy!!

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Everything You Want to Know about Huckleberries

Posted April 22, 2016 By sandy

As you know, we have tons of information about huckleberries on this site — especially about the huckleberries grown in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest region. But we may not have EVERYTHING you want to know about huckleberries!

But, believe it or not, there is some interesting information about huckleberrEverything you want to know about huckleberriesy on Wikipedia

Following is some information from their huckleberry listing:

The name ‘huckleberry’ is a North American variation of the English dialectal name variously called ‘hurtleberry’ or ‘whortleberry’ /ˈwɜːrtəlˌbɛrɪ/ for the bilberry. In North America the name was applied to numerous plant variations all bearing small berries with colors that may be red, blue or black. It is the common name for various Gaylussacia species, and some Vaccinium species, such as Vaccinium parvifolium, the red huckleberry, and is also applied to other Vaccinium species which may also be called blueberries depending upon local custom, as in New England and parts of Appalachia.

The ‘garden huckleberry’ (Solanum scabrum) is not a true huckleberry, but is instead a member of the nightshade family.

Here is the info about our local huckleberries:

From coastal Central California to southern Washington and British Columbia, the red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) is found in the maritime-influenced plant community. In the Pacific Northwest and mountains of Montana and Idaho, this huckleberry species and several others, such as the black Vaccinium huckleberry (V. membranaceum) and blue (Cascade) huckleberry (V. deliciosum), grow in various habitats, such as mid-alpine regions up to 11,500 feet elevation, mountain slopes, forests or lake basins. The plant grows best in damp, acidic soil having volcanic origin, attaining under optimal conditions heights of 1.5 to 2 m (4.9 to 6.6 ft), usually ripening in mid-to-late summer or later at high elevations.

I found it very interesting that many of the quotes in this Wikipedia article are from Dr. Dan Barney, who previously, ran the U of I Research Center in Sandpoint where he worked on several huckleberry projects!

 

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Huckleberry Paleo Pancakes

Posted March 31, 2016 By sandy

Every body loves huckleberry pancakes.  And now we have a Paleo version of your favorite breakfast food!

If you are not familiar with a ‘Paleo version’ of pancakes, it uses non-grain flours rather than the typical wheat flours.

I found this Huckleberry Paleo Pancake recipe on the Forest and Fauna website!

Huckleberry Paleo Pancakes

Huckleberry Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups finely ground blanched almond flour (do not pack tightly)
  • ¼ teaspoon mineral rich sea salt (pink Himalayan preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large pastured farm eggs
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 4-8 tablespoons full fat coconut milk, adjust for consistency
  • Coconut oil to fry

Instructions

  1. Turn on griddle or stove top to medium heat.
  2. Whisk eggs, vanilla, honey, vinegar/lemon juice, sea salt and baking soda together.
  3. Stir almond flour into egg mixture.
  4. Add a tablespoon of coconut milk at a time until you get the desired consistency. I like to thin them out for lighter pancakes, so I go a bit heavy on the coconut milk.
  5. Melt about a tablespoon of coconut oil per batch, once the coconut oil is nice and hot, spoon the pancake batter onto the hot griddle.
  6. The trick to perfect almond flour pancakes is having the heat set at the correct temp, on my stove top, that is just below medium, and I have found it is important to really let the pan heat up for a few long minutes before dropping in the pancakes. NOTE: I also made these pancakes on the SMALLER side, so they are easier to manage and flip.
  7. Fry cakes until you see bubbles appear and cake sets up on the sides, this is a good indicator to flip. Watch heat, as cakes can burn easily. Keep cakes in a warmed oven until finished with batch. Cook on each side for about a minute or 2. Use a thin spatula to carefully flip them.
  8. Serve pancakes with preferred toppings.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/03/31/huckleberry-paleo-pancakes/

Make sure to check out the original website to find Andrea Wyckoff simple receipe for Huckleberry Syrup

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Huckleberry Poem

Posted January 27, 2016 By sandy

One of our readers submitted the following poem, written by his mom,  Laurel Moss from Mendocino, California:

Huckleberry Poem Lady

Bounty

“Huckleberries, hunkering under leaves

Fumbling fingers combing branches

Berries bouncing, ting-ing into tin bowls

The air clear

The aroma a bit musky

Little movement or sound

But of the crackling of branches underfoot

The revelation in shadow of beaded clusters

Black and blue berries

Sweet, sour, shiny

And spider webbed

in this late October day

The taste of autumn in the air.”

Huckleberry Poem

 

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Top Huckleberry Articles from 2015

Posted January 1, 2016 By sandy

At the end of the year, I like to look at the stats of my blogs and find out the top articles for the year.

So, if you are interested, here they are:

Where to Buy Huckleberry Plants

Originally written in 2009 and upated in 2014.

Huckleberry Margaritas Recipe

Five Margaritas from Top Arizona Restaurants — inlcluding one huckleberry one!

Huckleberry Rakeshuckleberry picking rake

A page rather than a post, but proves to be a favorite page every year!

Best Huckleberry Wine

Some interesting comments of this recipe!

Huckleberry Jam Recipe

Taken from  The Huckleberry Book by ‘Asta Bowen

Huckleberry Daiquiri

Simple recipe for a wonderful tasting drink!

Huckleberries in Michigan

Here in the upper Rocky Mountain region, huckleberries are famous — but sometimes we forget that huckleberries grow in other parts of the country.  Maybe they are not the same huckleberries that are grown in Idaho and Montana, but huckleberries all the same…

The Wild Mountain Huckleberry

Whortleberry, dewberry, bilberry, blueberry; mountain-this or thinleaved-that; big or blue or dwarf or globe, the huckleberry goes by may names.  It grows wild and only wild, in the remote areas of American’s inland Northwest from Oregon to Alaska, the Pacific Ocean to the Continental Divide…

Ol’ Fashion Huckleberry Pie Recipe

 

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