July 14, 2012

Welcome to Summer in Washington!

One of my favorite things about this time of years is picking wild berries.  Today I was able to step out  the front door of my home here in Sudden Valley and start picking!  Right now there are plenty of huckleberries just starting to ripen, and there are salmonberries to pick too, which have been ripe for a couple of weeks now.  Both berries provide a nutrient blast to your system, and are good alone or in smoothies, on salads, in jam and sauces.

There are said to be 40 species of huckleberries worldwide, and 12 wild species grow here in Washington.  Huckleberries are high in Vitamin C, B and Iron, and are loaded with antioxidants and anthocyanins. The variety in my yard, which is at a relatively low elevation, is the red huckleberry.  Later in the summer we will travel to higher elevations to pick some of the other varieties in the foothills around Mt. Baker.

Salmonberries, native to the Pacific Northwest, are good for humans to eat, as I mentioned, and are also a good way to attract hummingbirds.  Ripening in mid-June to late July,  their berries provide a good source of nectar for hummingbirds.  Wild berries have long been important in the lives and diets of indigenous people of the Pacific North West.

Cheers to your health, and happy harvesting!

~Tamar Lister

[caption id="attachment_7419" align="alignleft" width="300"] Wild Washington Huckleberries and Salmonberries[/caption]

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