There are 12 species of Huckleberries that are native to Washington & Oregon.  This uncultivated cousin to the blueberry grows at between 2000 & 11000 ft elevation in acidic mountain soil. If you haven’t tasted one, you are missing a treat!  They do not taste like blueberries as some folks suggest.  There are a uniquely tart flavor, much more intense in flavor that a blueberry and they only grow in the wild.  They make the best jam, pies, and taste wonderful with salmon!  It’s always a guess as to when they are going to be available, this year they are a little earlier than years past.  Sometimes we harvest them as late as October, but we decided to go up to the mountains today and check them out.  Our favorite spot ws closed by the forest service, but I have another secret spot that I’ve been going to for the past 20 years.  Not the easiest place to get to, but well worth the effort. I always suggest you go with someone the first few times so you learn what to look for and what to harvest, as there are a few other berries that look similar and are not edible.  But the huckleberry wood is distinct and easily recognizable once you learn.  I can spot them from the car, which always amazes my husband.  Here are some photo’s from today’s huckleberry picnic, a NW tradition in our family!

Hucklebberries in the NW

Hucklebberries in the NW

Huckleberries at Snoqualmie

Huckleberries at Snoqualmie

August 2009 Huckleberry Season

August 2009 Huckleberry Season

Berry picking at high elevation

Berry picking at high elevation

Forest in tne National forest before the climb up

Forest in the National forest before the climb up

Perfect for a huckleberry picnic

Perfect for a huckleberry picnic

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