As you know, we sell huckleberry picking rakes. Rakes can increase your yield 4 to 10 times in the same amount of time as picking by hand. Our rakes, in particular, are light weight and easy to use.
(If you want more info on our huckleberry rakes, check out our website, Huckleberry Rake. where you will find videos, pictures and written instructions.)
But too much mis-information floats around the web and elsewhere about huckleberry picking rakes. Rather than list all the reasons why huckleberry rakes are safe, I have prepared a mini-website that addresses those issues here: Huckleberry Picking Tool Myths.
Over the years, we have worked with Dr. Dan Barney — affectionately known as Dr. Huckleberry — who was the leading expert on huckleberries at the University of Idaho. He not only tested our rakes, he also endorsed them (info on the site noted above). Unfortunately, the UI closed his huckleberry project in Sandpoint a few years ago and he is else doing other plant related research.
Then only location we are aware of that bans the use of huckleberry picking rakes is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington. (There has been a report that they are also banned in some places in Oregon, but we have been unable to confirm the report at this time.)
The Forest Service Gifford Pinchot National Forest site is filled with interesting information on huckleberries such as:
- Changes in Washington law regarding the sale of Wild Huckleberries
- History of huckleberries
- Development of berry fields
- Safety while picking
- Questions and Answers about huckleberries
Should you decide to pick huckleberries (or any other berry or forest grown items) on forest service lands or national forests, I suggest you check with the local forest service office for details and regulations.
In the meantime, enjoy your berries!!
The Olympian share that huckleberries are ripe in parts of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southern Washington.
For those wanting to pick in this area need to be aware of a couple regulations:
- Picking berries for personal use is free, but commercial pickers must obtain a permit.
- Pickers harvesting more than three gallons, or selling any quantity, must obtain a permit.
- The use of rakes or other mechanical picking devices are not allowed on the forest.
- Areas closed to personal or commercial pickers include the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, legislated Wilderness Areas and the “Handshake Agreement” area of Sawtooth Berry Fields.
The article does describe a few areas where pickers can find huckleberry bushes (a most guarded secret for most people).
Check out the ENTIRE ARTICLE for more details.
As the huckleberry season progresses, we are receiving reports about huckleberries from all over the Rocky Mountain region. In the last week, two article about Huckleberries in Montana were published.
Our first story warns pickers about huckleberries and bears!
BOZEMAN, Mont. – It’s huckleberry season in Montana, and people aren’t the only ones looking for the sweet treats. Bears love them, too.
Surprise encounters aren’t good for either party, said wildlife biologist Erin Edge, Rockies and Plains associate for Defenders of Wildlife, so it’s best to be “bear aware” if out harvesting the fruit – and let the bears know you’re there.
“Talk while you’re in areas that are dense with brush, have berries around, anytime you’re in bear habitat,” Edge said.
Our second story includes a video interview from a store in the Flathead, Montana area:
Like cherries, huckleberries are a favorite fruit of many in the flathead.
The season has been underway for just a few weeks, and since they are a wild fruit, you have to head out into the wilderness to find them.
We wanted to find out what the crop was looking like this year, so we went out toward Hungry Horse where we’re told there are a lot of huckleberries growing. After combing the sides of the roads and hiking into the trails a little bit, we didn’t find many, meaning pickers have already made their way there.
How is the huckleberry crop in your part of the world?
We would love it if you share your story with us!
Trout Creek, Montana is celebrating their 34th Annual Huckleberry Festival this weekend, August 9, 10 and 11, 2013.
According to the CDA Press:
The first festival was launched decades ago by a group of artists, as a venue for them to sell their creations. Vendors of fresh-picked huckleberries joined in also.
The event, put on by volunteers, has grown to more than 100 booths of All-American made arts and craft items and treats to eat, all prepared by local nonprofits.
Many food items available feature the festival’s “purple gold” namesake which can be found in ice cream, on cheesecake, in drinks, and even atop Polish dogs.
People flock to the event each year to taste and purchase the berries, sold on the park grounds to benefit the festival.
Find out more information about the Trout Creek Huckleberry Festival.
Huckleberry season is upon us — and so are the various huckleberry festivals around the inland north west.
Whitefish hosts one of the best known huckleberry festival in western Montana. Here is the information on the Festival scheduled for this weekend, August 9-11, 2013.
One of the biggest art festivals in Whitefish taking place Aug. 9-11
Huckleberry Days is one of the biggest art festivals hosted in Whitefish over the summer, drawing in thousands of patrons and more than 100 vendor booths, according to Sarah Stewart, business manager at the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s festival takes place from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11 in Depot Park. Stewart, who organizes the festival for the chamber, said this year’s event would match expectations built up after previous successful festivals.
One of the main attractions at Huckleberry Days is the bake-off. Now in its fourth year, the competition pits local bakers against one another in a challenge to create the best huckleberry-themed dessert in the valley.
READ FULL ARTICLE for more details!
Also, join in the fun on the Huckleberry Days Arts Festival Facebook page.
And, if you make it to the Festival, please share your thoughts and pictures with us!
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.
So for our upper midwest friends and readers, I found an article focusing on huckleberries in Michigan.
Listed in this article is the following information:
- History of huckleberries in Michigan
- Habitat where huckleberries in Michigan grow
- Huckleberry pie recipe
- Pictures of huckleberries in Michigan
Check out the article here (sorry, web guidelines from this site does not allow me to post any of the article here):
And, if you are looking for more huckleberry recipes, I ran across a great Pinterest Board with lots of huckleberry recipes.
The Huckleberry board includes recipes for pies, cakes, buckles, cobbler, muffins, crisp, scones, bars & cookies, tarts, pudding, ice cream, cheesecake, drinks, jam ….. and on and on … 85 pins in all. She also features a few of our recipes and our huckleberry rakes!
Thanks Mary Gates for the wonderful board!
Check it out here: Huckleberry/recipes
Upon my search for huckleberry information, I ran across this article from last fall. Although the article is nearly a year old, it offers some good information and tips on picking huckleberries.
The article is written by John Reid who is a University of Calgary Faculty of Kinesiology graduate and Precision Nutrition Certified Sports Nutritionist
Here are some of the highlights of his article:
Here are some berry picking tips (and no-nos):
- Picking berries in a national park is prohibited. Provincial parks allow it with verbal approval from a conservation office. If you aren’t in a park, or on private land, pick away.
- Remember that berries are a valuable food source for other wildlife, pick only enough for yourself. Four cups is a good rule of thumb.
- Always, always, ALWAYS bring bear spray. Keep it on your belt and know how to use it.
- If you do see wildlife, leave immediately and try not to disturb it. Berries are their food and you’re in their area.
- Do not damage the rest of the plant when picking. Leave unripe berries, leaves and branches on the plant.
- Bring lots of water and sun protection. You can dehydrate fast when you’re pickin’ hard.
- Don’t pick or eat berries you can’t identify.
- Try not to eat them faster than you can pick them…
An update on the huckleberry crop via the Spokane Review:
FORESTS – Huckleberries, designated Idaho’s state fruit in 2000, have been ripe for picking for a couple weeks in the low areas of Priest Lake, and the crop is gradually ripening up the mountain slopes throughout the Inland Northwest.
Don’t set your purple-tongue ambitions too high, yet.
Outdoors editor Rich Landers found ripe huckleberries for the first hour of hiking up Scotchman Peak Trail 65 northeast of Lake Pend Oreille on Thursday with lots of green berries above that to satisfy berry pickers in the prime picking period of August.
Savvy huckleberry pluckers know certain high areas, such as the Roman Nose Peak region in the Selkirks, are harvest-perfect in September.
Huckleberries flourish in several varieties across the region, from the deep-purple lowbush types in the east Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness to the tiny grouse huckleberry (a.k.a. grouse whortleberry) that grows on 10-inch high, small-leaf plants at or above timberline in the Selkirks and Bitterroots.
The ”big huckleberry” (a.k.a. black or thin-leaved) is the most popular berry in the Idaho Panhandle. This species grows in moist, cool forested environments at mid to upper elevations. The plants grow up to three feet tall and take up to 15 years to reach full maturity. The single, dark purple berries grow on the shoots the plant produced that year, according to plant ecologist Charles Johnson….
Bears can be expected anywhere berries are ripe. Pickers should carry bear spray as a precaution.
With huckleberry season upon some of us, recipes are starting to circulate around the internet.
Found two Huckleberry Mead recipes that looked interesting!! Should you try either of these recipes, makes sure to share how the Mead turns out!
Wild Huckleberry Mead
Shared by Tom Schwarting
Recipe type: Other
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Time in Boil: 20 Minutes
Primary Fermentation: 2 weeks
Secondary Fermentation: 6 weeks
- 15# honey
- 1# frozen wild mountain huckleberries from a local fruit stand
- 2 packages champaign yeast
Boil honey in about 2.5 gallons of water for 20 minutes. Add huckleberries at end of boil, and let stand for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into glass carboy with 2 gallons cold water in bottom. Add yeast when cool.
Our second Huckleberry Mead recipe includes a homebrew log. Here is the recipe:
This is my third mead, a basic Huckleberry mead, 1 gallon volume with 3lb honey, 1 tsp yeast nutrient, 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid, 1/2 tsp acid mix and a small hand full of raisins.
The entire mix was brought to 180 and held there for about 15 min. The must was cooled to 75F and the yeast pitched. The yeast is a Lalvin champagne yeast, EC-1118. The must was thoroughly shaken prior to pitching for good aeration. ….