Be Kind While Huckleberry Picking

From the reports, some areas are experiencing an early crop of huckleberries. Great news for huckleberry enthusiasts! Maybe this year will compensate for the poor crops the last few years!

With folks out foraging, I thought I would remind everyone to be kind while you are out picking:

  • Take care with the huckleberry patches. Be careful not to break the branches off or dig up plants to transplant (it won’t work), and don’t drive over or stomp on the patches or  plants
  • Leave the patches as nature intended. Pick up and carry out any garbage or wrappers you brought into the area.
  • Watch out for the natural wildlife that depends on the huckleberries for food.
  • Be kind to other pickers that you meet.

Along with being kind, if you are members of our Huckleberry Hunting & Recipes Facebook Group, I also ask you to be kind. Many folks are not as knowledgeable as you and may ask questions that seem obvious to you. We were all learning once ourselves. Please be kind to these folks.

I would also like to take time to debunk a few false rumors that have been spreading around the internet about huckleberries:

  • Huckleberry can be different colors but still ripe. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of huckleberry varieties across the country that come in shades of red to purple (I have also heard they are sometimes white or yellow). Please don’t harass someone who has picked huckleberries that look different from what you are used to seeing. Other areas can produce different colors and types of huckleberries.
  • Huckleberry picking rakes do not damage or kill the plants. This rumor has been going around for a long time. We have plenty of resources on this website where we will show you how the pickers work:
  • Huckleberry picking rakes typically do not pull off the green unripened berries. The spacing between the tines will only select the bigger ripe berries. I am not sure where this false rumor came from, but if you watch some of the videos listed above, you will see their use in action.
  • Very few people are huckleberry experts. This is why we have relied on the research and recommendations of Dr. Dan Barney (who was the reason for starting this association and website). Dr. Barney researched wild huckleberries extensively at the U of I Research Center in Sandpoint, Idaho. Unfortunately, we lost touch with Dr. Barney, who had health issues a few years back.

Just so you are forewarned, anyone spreading some of the above false rumors will be banned from the Huckleberry Facebook Group. We do not intend to be mean or closed-minded; we are just aware of the damage it does to the group when we allow these discussions to blow up into arguments. That is not what anyone wants.

So, I started suggesting that we all be kind, and I will end with that same message. If your words or actions don’t portray kindness, please go elsewhere with your comments and actions!


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