If you’re heading to the mountains in the next few weeks, be sure to take a bucket or two, for the end of summer brings the start of huckleberry season! Let Spain have their Running of the Bulls; Oregon has the Running of the Berries – and they make a much better pie! They also make good ice cream, chutney and jam! Reports from Berry Run ’12 indicate we aren’t quite having the season we had last year, but there is still more than enough juicy goodness to go around. A few friends can (and have) cleanly picked 2.5 gallons in an afternoon (Note: “clean picking” is the “slow” method; by hand – no rakes, brooms or other tools which means no crushed berries & few leaves and stems).
If you want to go picking yourself, you’d better have a very good friend who will give up the information on one of their secret spots. Prime fishing hole locations are given up more readily than picking patch coordinates. However, five cars were seen parked and picking on a recent Tuesday afternoon, so chances are you do know someone who might give you a tip or two.
If you’re more inclined to eat the fruit of someone else’s labors keep your eye out for “Huckleberry Pie” signs popping up in area restaurants or maybe even a handmade “Jam” sign along the road. Mass produced huckleberry products are good – but nothing can beat a locally made, handmade, freshly made seasonal dessert! Now, stop salivating and get out there and pick! The season will be over before you know it!