Some folks are probably wondering “What is with all of the berry and jelly posts lately?” Let’s just say I get on a bit of an OCD streak sometimes. Lately it’s been berries and jelly. I love this time of year because it reminds me of being a kid and eating berries for hours on end in my parents’ back yard and throughout the neighborhood. Of course at the time I sort of loathed berry picking, too. It was one of the jobs my brother and I had to do for Mom. Cherries (sour pie and Royal Ann), raspberries, blueberries and wild blackberries. In June, right after school was out for the summer, we would go to one of the many local strawberry farms and pick flat after flat.
If you are local to the Puget Sound area, I found this great article the other night while looking for information on where the best wild berry picking areas are around here. Not much detail, but good general guidelines. Wild, wonderful Northwest berries, July 9, 2003, Seattle Times.
In a past post I mentioned a few things in comments that some of you might have missed. I’ll recap here. Huckleberry jam/jelly is on my list of things to try. Just need to finish up the currant and other berries in the fridge before I start going huckleberries and wild (NOT Himalayan) blackberry picking. I would like to try both red huckleberries and evergreen/mountain huckleberries. Taylor Mountain Forest has a good selection of creeping blackberries and the red huckleberries. I think you have to be up pretty high to find the mountain ones. Luckily I am close to the mountains here and also visit the Olympic Peninsula frequently. I despise Himalayan blackberries and that is what most people around here think of as “wild.”
I would like to find some berry picking spots that are closer to me than Taylor Mountain so any southeast King County folks that know of some good places off of SR410, please let me know. I promise not to give away any secret spot information to the rest of the world! Mostly I am interested in the creeping blackberries right now. I may try for mountain huckleberry in mid to late August.
One of our blueberry bushes protected by netting and reflective tape, and guarded by Buena in the pasture.