Monday, September 13, 2010

Berry Obsessed

It's been a crummy year for blackberries. Not enough heat, maybe, or then too much. On the up side, the huckleberries have been amazing this year. Sorry for the picture quality, but this was taken with my cell phone.


Huckleberries usually range from about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, but these are the size of small blackberries. I've been picking every time we get out into the areas these berries grow. Last Thursday I even gave up my weekly allotment of talking to grownups to go and pick a couple of quarts.

Then there's the tedious picking of every. single. stem. I like my berries clean, clean and frozen. A good handful on my morning oatmeal is a great way to start the day. I even have enough to contemplate huckleberry jam, but I think not. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing, though. A really bright spot in my season.

At home, the tomatoes are cranking out. There's even a crock pot full of oven-roasted sauce reducing on the counter. Good times in and out of the garden.

15 comments:

thyme2garden said...

Although I'm not sure that I've ever had fresh huckleberries, I'm sure I would like them, as I like all berries out there. I have a friend who makes huckleberry pie, and it's a very yummy berry pie.

meemsnyc said...

Hmm, I've never eaten huckleberry before. This looks so good!

Christina said...

Beautiful! How do you keep up? I'm so behind on processing tomatoes and the like. I get so lost once school starts.

Kristin said...

Yummy! The huckleberries are bigger this year for sure. I pick them on my runs through the forest; at the halfway point I munch them for a bit energy for the haul back.

Stefaneener said...

thyme2, they are tasty, like tart blueberries. Really, there's not a lot of berries that aren't fully likable.

memmsnyc, they are pretty wonderful. Certainly makes oatmeal a treat.

Christina, speak no more of this. I won't tell you a lot about the cucumbers I just gave to the chickens. I'm mostly just freezing tomatoes. I'll process them later. The sauce was just so easy -- almost as easy as coring and freezing.

Kristin, you're so resourceful. They really are lovely this year, though.

chaiselongue said...

I never knew what huckleberries were - or I'd forgotten, after all, I did read Huckleberry Finn a long time ago. But I just looked them up and realised they're what we call whinberries and we used to pick them a lot on moorland in Wales where I come from. They make lovely jam and pies. You're lucky to find such big ones!

Mr. H. said...

They do look nice, the leaves on your variety of huckleberry are very different than the ones on ours but the berries look similar. My favorite berry.:)

Engineeredgarden said...

I bet huckleberries are great on oatmeal, and freezing some is a great way to enjoy some later, too!

michelle said...

I have fond memories of picking huckleberries on family camping trips when I was a kid. Lucky you to have a patch to forage from, they are so good.

Heiko said...

We extend our blackberry season bt starting to pick in the valley and gradually work our way up the mountain. Blackberry line is currently on about 450m a.s.l., 150m above us. I've started experimenting with haws: haw ketchup, haw flour and haw coffee. You'll hear about my exploits soon!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've never eaten a huckleberry either. However, I was just putting together a native seed order, and looking at the evergreen huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) at Larner. Now I'm tempted to add some to my cart. I wonder how difficult they are to get to grow?

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Did you grow these, or pick them in the wild? I planted five wee huckleberries, but they have spent the year sulking.

I'm hoping the rains will cheer them up.

Ottawa Gardener said...

I miss huckleberries so much. They look very tasty.

Just so you know, I've been cruel and nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you suffer it gladly ;)

Stefaneener said...

Chaiselongue, I think these are part of a family of berries -- there are different expressions of them here, some rounder, some egg-shaped. I know very little of them except I keep adding places to pick - now that I've blogged about them I also know when to look.

Mr. H., I always feel blessed by them. But they're so teensy.

EG, they are a delight. I'm a wealthy woman with two gallon bags in the freezer.

Michelle, do you have any near you now?

Heiko, if I got out more, I bet I could chase them up the mountain. I can't wait to see you!

CVF, I'm under the impression that they're finicky, but who knows? (I bet granny could grow them.) They're pretty abundant here, so I wouldn't spare the space now. Maybe if I cleaned out some of the purely ornamental ones, though. . . Hmmmmm.

Lisa, I found them both at Huckleberry near Sibley and a lot in Redwood. We'll have to go next year.

OttawaGardener, let us not speak of this ever again.

kitsapFG said...

Those are beautiful huckleberries. We have many bushes of evergreen huckleberries in the front landscaping area of our house - but this year we got absolutely ZERO berry production from them!? Totally bad growing year here in the coastal pacific northwest this year. At least the blueberries and raspberries produced a reasonable amount for us.