Berries berries berries.
Did you know there’s 55+ different types of berry plants worldwide?
Berries are, as you know, delicious and cost a fortune in most grocery stores, especially if you go organic.
Here in the Pacific Northwest we look forward to berry season as different types ripen and are available for picking!
If you live in the Seattle area you may want to check them out:
- Harvold Berry Farm – U-pick strawberries & raspberries
32325 NE 55th Street, Carnation, WA 98014
- Henna Blueberry Farm
1800 Fall City-Carnation RD SE
Fall City, WA 98024
42930 SE 92nd St
North Bend, WA 98045
- MountainView Blueberry Farm
7617 E. Lowell-Larimer Road
Snohomish, WA 98296
This list could go on and on.. but say you want to get out of the city and really explore. Depending on where in the world you are you may be surprised to know that a lot of berries grow wild in your own backyard. And I mean figuratively, though some people do have them growing wild directly in their yards.
We just went on a camping trip outside of Seattle and had a lot of fun finding and identifying several kinds of berry plants (thanks to our dad who was a forest ranger for quite some time). Some we had never heard of and didn’t know were edible. And we love berries!
So we wanted to share with you the berries that we found and the benefits (if any) they can provide. These are just the few that we ran into up in Larrabee State Park!
Blueberries (Vaccinium Corymbosum)
You would have to live under a rock to not know what a blueberry is, but if you’re not used to seeing them out in nature you may miss them! They grow low to the ground and are filled with antioxidants. You can tell they are blueberries by their little navy colored crown and small yellow/orange leaves on the bush!
Salmonberries (Rubus Spectabilis)
These berries can be found in many parts of the forest, the origin of the name should be obvious. You can identify them by their titular colored berries. This photo is of the salmonberry shows that it’s almost ripe! Yum.
Thimbleberries (Rubus Rosifolius)
Honestly, I didn’t realize this was a berry at first, it is also in the same family as the raspberry but very different. We don’t find these in stores since they are too soft to be collected and sold. They do however have great taste and medicinal properties. The plant itself can be used to treat acne, scurvy, nausea, and diarrhea. You can identify a thimbleberry bush by it’s woody stem and large hand shaped leaves. Need toilet paper? Use this plant’s oversized leaves!
Huckleberries (Vaccinium Parvifolium)
Washington’s favorite berry! Huckleberries have a sweet, uniquely delicious flavor and deep color. The berries can be used as a natural antiseptic in a pinch and extract from the leaves can be used to decrease blood sugar levels. You can tell a huckleberry bush by its small stature, huckleberry bushes seldom grow taller than four feet. Huckleberries are fully ripe near the end of summer, no better way to end summer than to spend a day picking these!
Blackberries (Rubus Fruticosus)
Did you know that the blackberry is considered a weed? It’s an invasive species taking over in Europe, the Americas and Australia. Either way its delicious and can be used for jams, pies, and pastries, yum! Blackberry bushes are impassably dense and thorny, there are many plants similar in appearance to the blackberry plant but none are harmful.
Salal Berries (Gaultheria Shallon)
These berries grown on bushes in the forests along the pacific coast and are sweet and juicy. Usually overlooked and never talked about these berries come with some great health benefits. The plant itself can help with inflammation when made into a tea. The Kwakwaka’wakw people relied on the salal berry to survive harsh winters and used it in many cultural dishes, although only Chiefs ate pure salal berry cake!
Not all of them were in season yet, but of the ones that were we picked a bunch and made pancakes in the woods! You can’t get more deliciously in sync with nature than that!
If you travel for work add this to your list of go-to-ideas for when you need to take a break! Find a hiking trail and see what kinds of berries you can eat in the area!
VaRueMor has it the PNW has the best hiking trails…
Stay tuned for our top 5 hiking trails within an hour of Seattle!
-The VaRue Team