I love the information and ingenuity of this gal. Not only does she share some huckleberry preserving methods, she talks about two huckleberry rakes she made.
After all was said and done, she ended up buying one of our rakes (NOTE: She mentioned that she bought her rake from Amazon. Because we were shorted rakes this season, we did not offer them on Amazon. You can still buy them on our Huckleberry Rake website!)
Day 226: Do-it-yourself Huckleberry Rake
…Northwest tribal folk dried huckleberries in large cakes and stacked the cakes until ready to use. I picture great purple wheels, like towers of cheese, stacked to the ceiling in corners of longhouses. When berries where needed, a chunk of a wheel was broken off and reconstituted in water. I’ve also seen recommendations for mashing the berries and spreading them out across a screen to dry in the sun. When the mash is dry, it can be crumbled and sealed in storage containers. I’ll try this option, as I don’t have a free corner to stack cakes of berries. My least favorite preservation discovery is to store the berries in bacon grease or used cooking oil. Yuck! Now that just sounds nasty, but not when considering the huckleberry’s traditional use as fish bait. I never really thought of the huckleberry as fish bait, but it makes perfect sense. It’s the exact right bite for a #8 trout hook. …
Huckleberry Rakes can also be found on our Tastes of Idaho site where we still have a few “Child’s” Huckleberry Rakes as well as the standard Huckleberry Rake (pictured above) available!
I love these cute little Huckleberry Stories — folks sharing their adventures.
By Chaya | August 15, 2012
For the Love of Huckleberries
I wanted to go huckleberry picking. Last year, I was determined to go. I spent time reading blogs and the Forestry Service pages about what to look for, what types of places to look, and what to do if I saw a bear.
So I called a friend to go with me. …
Hope your huckleberry picking did not end up with mostly leaves like in this picture!!
Despite warnings and articles on the web and in print, some folks STILL don’t understand how to pick huckleberries.
The following article is an example:
Posted by DFO
I pulled into Dairy Queen on Appleway in Coeur d’Alene recently with a buddy for something cool … and instead ended up hot under the collar.
There in the parking lot was a North Idaho pick-up truck, the bed piled with huckleberry bushes that had been sheared off in the forests for their prized fruit. The culprits and a car-load or two of friends were “picking” berries in the DQ parking lot, then taking them inside for an illegal huckleberry parfait.
Shame on you! I wish I’d written down your license plates! You might think you’re making easy work for yourself, but you’re not only breaking the law, you’re giving a bad name to the rest of us who look forward to REAL huckleberry picking, AND you’re killing a truck-load of bushes that likely will never produce again, or at least won’t for decades
READ FULL POST — including comments
Sounds like it was a great event! May have to pencil this one in for next year!!
Huckleberries galore at festival
The 33rd annual Huckleberry Festival held its first huckleberry pie-eating contest Saturday. It was quite a hit with the crowd.Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:00 pm | Updated: 5:33 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.
Justyna Tomtas/Valley Press |
TROUT CREEK – Over 100 vendors from Trout Creek and throughout the county attended the event providing food, crafts and demonstrations. Music and games also went throughout the weekend at the 33rd annual Huckleberry Festival.
Huckleberries filled the festival, sweetening people’s appetites with huckleberry shakes, sundaes, cheesecakes and jams.
According to the article, next year’s Huckleberry Festival will take place August 9 through the 11.
If you are interested in attending a Huckleberry Festival, check out the following list provided by About.com Northwest US Travel:
Celebrating the Huckleberry in the Northwest
By Angela Brown, About.com Guide
Huckleberries probably make my top ten list of reasons why life is great in the Northwest. These tart-sweet wild berries are at their peak in August. Several communities find this reason to celebrate with an annual huckleberry festival. Here are some that will be taking place in 2012:
- Trout Creek Huckleberry Festival – Trout Creek, MT – August 10-12
- Huckleberry Days Festival – Whitefish, MT – August 10-12
- Huckleberry Heritage Festival – Wallace, ID – August 17-18
- Mt. Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days – Mt. Hood, OR – August 24-25
- Bingen Huckleberry Festival – Bingen, WA – September 7-9
Love these ol’ Huckleberry Memories …
BY BOB ANN BRELAND Between Friends
As children, one of our favorite things to do this time of year was to roam the woods around our house searching for huckleberries. We started before they started to get ripe, because to us, green huckleberries were the best. It was only by circumstance that any survived to get ripe. …
Remember the last post about huckleberry picking in Montana? Here is one of her recipes using the huckleberries she picked!
Huckleberry LemonadeI started with a basic homemade lemonade recipe and added pureed huckleberries. Oh. my. goodness. It is so delicious! My mom and I are actually sitting outside enjoying the evening on our deck drinking our homemade huckleberry lemonade as I write this.
So here’s the recipe:
Wild Huckleberry Lemonade:
1 cup huckleberries1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice3/4 cup unrefined sugar6 cups water
Place 1 cup of water and the sugar in a pan. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and you have a syrup. Puree the huckleberries in 1 cup of water. Pour the lemon juice, syrup and huckleberry puree into a large glass jar. Then add four cups of water and shake or stir to mix. Serve over ice and enjoy!
The writer of this article does not tell us EXACTLY where she went picking, but here is the story she wrote on July 23, 2012
Wild Huckleberry Harvest!After checking our secret huckleberry spot up on the mountain two weeks ago, we’ve been counting the days until we could head back up and find a mountain covered with dark purple, juicy huckleberries. Heading up the mountain yesterday seemed like the perfect reward for finishing the painting in our back room just in time for my parent’s visit this week.
As we drove up the windy, rocky dirt road to our huckleberry spot high up on the mountain, we eagerly watched the mountainside. The trees are tall and thick but the forest floor is covered with huckleberry bushes as far as the eye can see. Simply amazing!
With huckleberry season in full swing in many areas, the forest service is cautioning picker NOT to damage the huckleberry plants by cutting off the berry loaded branches!
NATIVE PLANTS — The huckleberry bush, the most revered shrub in the Inland Northwest, is getting less respect as berry pickers succumb to greed.
Practices are getting so bad, the Forest Service has issued a media release warning that recently observed practices — such as CUTTING OFF A BUSH SO BERRIES COULD BE MORE EASILY PICKED — are against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
It’s safe to say most huckleberry plant abusers aren’t among the families returning to their favorite huckleberry hot spots generation after generation. None of these people wants to damage plants and reduce the harvest of future years.
However, many people may not realize the senseless and improper use of rake-like huckleberry pickers also damages the berry bushes.
Meanwhile, read on for more information on the latest damaging practices reported by the Forest Service.
Currently, on the Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs, there are no regulations in effect for huckleberry picking. However, damaging and/or removing huckleberry bushes/brush on National Forest lands is a violation and can carry a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine.
In more than one instance, pickers have recently been observed cutting a pickup load of huckleberry brush and picking berries from the brush they cut.
Huckleberries grow on the current year’s growth of plant. If the plant is cut off at the ground, the plant is destroyed. Something else will grow in its place before the huckleberry can regrow, thus destroying the patch for future crops.
Find out the proper way to use a Huckleberry Picking Rake by reading the instructions posted on the Huckleberry Rake website. Videos are included.
The International Wild Huckleberry Association was contacted about a new Huckleberry Harvest Study on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Joyce Mastenbrook, Doctoral Candidate, Environmental Anthropology at the University of Washington Department of Anthropology, sent the following email :
I am the principal investigator of a study of big huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) harvesting practices, abundance and accessibility on the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest during the 2012 harvest season (which is coming right up!). The goal of the study is to better understand the social, economic, and cultural significance of big huckleberry to the people who pick and harvest them, as well as barriers to harvesting on the Forest. Upcoming planning on the Forest, including the development of a new Forest Plan, as well as planning for further road decommissioning, has the potential to impact productivity of big huckleberry meadows as well as access to them. We hope that the results of this study will ensure that big huckleberry and the people who pick and harvest them are taken into account in planning processes.
People who pick or harvest big huckleberry on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest are encouraged to participated by taking a 10-minute survey which is available online, and/or participating in an in-depth interview about their harvesting experiences on the Forest.
For more information, CLICK HERE.
We will post a follow up later on in the year.