It’s Wild Berry Season!
July is berry season in cottage country. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and saskatoons all make for a special treat from mother nature.
Wild Berries All Around The Cottage
The famous wild blueberries started to ripen about a week ago. Our blueberry plants have less fruit than last year and the berries are not as big, but just as tasty. Over the next two or three weeks they will make a nice addition to my oatmeal.
Here on the property, the wild strawberries were ready at the end of the first week of July this year. Unlike blueberries, which are usually found in greater numbers and are easier to pick, the wild strawberries require a lot of patience and a gentle touch.
They are miniature versions of the commercial ones you get at the store, so you have to crawl around on your knees and gently remove the fruit from the plant without squishing it. The reward is certainly worth the effort, especially when they are enjoyed with just a touch of sugar.
The wild raspberries are quite spread out at my place so I don’t get many, but they are a real treat when I find some.
I usually just eat the fruit right off the plant when I am walking around the property.
The saskatoon berry may be the best tasting of them all.
I only have one overgrown tree and the birds generally pick it clean before the berries get to their dark purple state that everyone waits for.
Birds are not the only critters that take advantage of the wild berry harvest. Black bears rely heavily on the berries as an important part of their summer diet. Remember to stay alert when you head out berry picking.
Wild berries are fantastic to use in recipes for making jam, pies, muffins and cupcakes or simply eaten raw with your favourite ice cream. They also make great additions to a summer salad.
Go to the How To Find And Pick Blueberries page which has tips for locating berries and using the best technique to collect them.
Go to the What Are Saskatoon Berries? page.
Written and photographed by: Andrew Walker