Summertime Berries is fruit picking time in the Pacific northwest. Fresh juicy ripe edible berries! Yum, yum, yum! We recently enjoyed a big pan of blackberry cobbler from these ripe berries we picked. And you can too. Foraging for wild edible berries is great fun. A rewarding outdoor activity for friends and family. Listed in this post are many of the most common and delicious edible berries to forage for.
Summertime Berries of the Northwest
Blackberries are a good berry to start with. Identifying Himalayan Blackberries is easy with a little research. And picking is straightforward and simple. And the best part, beside eating the delicious berries. Is you don't need much gear to do it.
Here is my recommended summertime berry picking gear list.
- 1-gallon bucket with a handle for each berry picker
- wide brim sun hat. To keep the head, ears, and back of neck from getting sunburned
- long sleeved shirts. To keep the arms and upper body from getting scratched by thorns
- pants or trousers that cover down to the ankle. To keep the legs from getting scratched from the thorny berry vines
- sturdy shoes
- garden snips are helpful for snipping the large vines of the blackberry plants
- a hooked staff or walking stick for pulling vines withing reach and pushing vines out of your way.
Eating the freshly picked Blackberry
One of our favorite things to do with our fresh picked blackberries. Is to make homemade Blackberry cobbler. And no fooling, it's delicious! How do we best describe hot Blackberry Cobbler right from the oven? Wow! Add a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream on top. And you have a double wow!! Delicious!
How about adding some ripe and luscious wild blackberries to your Sourdough pancakes? We do, and it's a hit with the whole family.
Berries from the Elder shrub are edible but must be cooked first before eating. Here are some tips on the best way to pick elderberries and prepare them for use. We make a delicious syrup every fall from the ripe elderberries both sweet and savory.
The native Evergreen Huckleberry produces a much smaller berry than does the blackberry plant. Ripening middle to late August. Huckleberries are an important food for Black Bears in Oregon. Bears eat and depend on all berries for food. But especially the Evergreen Huckleberry to put on fat for winter.
Huckleberries can be eaten fresh, added to pancakes, smoothies, or eaten right off the shrub. Traditionally, these smaller fruit were crushed flat and dried for later use.
Thimbleberries begin to bloom in late April on the Oregon coast. Reddish in color and have the shape of an upside-down tiny bowl when still on the shrub. Thimbleberry is delicious and one of my favorite berries to eat as a trail snack.
The Salal, another northwest berry, is ripening fast. It is incredibly high in flavonoids. The Salal, historically, was used for strengthening capillaries-mucus membrane fragility. If you are susceptible to nose bleeds, eating these robust berries can be helpful. A terrific survival food, and when dried. The Salal berries can be stored to eat during the winter months.
Berries and Bears
If you're collecting berries in Grizzly Bear country - Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, etc., be aware and be careful!
Make lots of noise when picking those rich and luscious wild fruit. One exceptionally large neighbor, the bear, is putting on fat for his long winter nap, and can be extremely focused and grumpy when eating. He may not notice you have sidled up next to him with your berry basket.
Berry Pickin Bears
If you happen to run into a Bear while out picking wild edible berries, and he takes your basket from you. My advice is to not argue.
In addition, bears don’t appreciate any negative comments regarding their delicate odor. I recommend to just tip your hat politely, and slowly, carefully back away from the bear, refrain from any rude gesturing and find another berry patch…far, far, away.
Berries and the Blackberry Boogie
A great song to warm up too before picking blackberries. Blackberry Boogie by Tennessee Ernie Ford
What else is there to say about berries, but, Happy picking!