The hubby and I took the new boat out of Whittier again this weekend. We headed out with some family members in their boats. All three boats ended up having engine issues, which turned it into a long and rather stressful weekend. But I came home happy after foraging for wild berries!
We spent the night in Mink Cove, a sheltered little spot about 30 miles from town (by boat). My cousin, uncle, and I rowed rafts and kayaks to shore and found tons of blue huckleberries and salmon berries.
I’m not a huge fan of salmon berries. They look like raspberries, but don’t have as much flavor as raspberries do (in my opinion. I know lots of people who love them.). I picked until it was time to head back to the boat to head out for fish. I ended up with a couple cups of huckleberries, perfect for a pie (RECIPE) or berry crunch (RECIPE)!
The blue oval-leaf huckleberries are technically Vaccinium ovafolium, also known as oval-leaf blueberries. You’ll often hear these referred to as “high-bush blueberries,” as opposed to the “low-bush blueberries,” which are very short little plants that carpet the mountains of south central Alaska and further north. Read more on the berry HERE.
These huckleberries are a very dark blue, almost black. The leaves are oval with smooth edges and have red stems.
It was a beautiful weekend in Whittier. It’s very commonly raining or misting in Whittier, so days like this with hardly a cloud in the sky are very much appreciated!
Before we left on for our boat trip, I made some zucchini bread muffins to take with us. (Get the recipe HERE.) I usually put a cup of applesauce in it to keep it nice and moist, but I was out. So I ran out to the back yard of the homestead and picked some wild raspberries. They added amazing little pops of tangy-ness to the zucchini muffins! (I added one cup of berries to the recipe.) I love being able to go out in my backyard and get wonderful treats like that.
I’m hoping to get a chance to go foraging for the low-bush blueberries soon. I’d love to have a bunch in the freezer for this winter!
Two of my favorite books for foraging in the North are The Boreal Herbal and the Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers. I can’t wait to do more foraging! Do you forage for any edible or medicinal plants? Comment below!