Saskatoon berries ripen on a branch

It’s berry season!

The book is Wildberries of British Columbia, and it is a colourful guide to some of the native berries of the province, edible and inedible both.

With the warm weather finally arriving and plenty of rain early in the season, it has all the makings of a seriously fabulous berry season.

So far, the Saskatoon berry bush in my front yard only has a few ripe ones, but they are coming, and my friend recently returned from picking with a bucket full of huckleberries.

My grandmother was just telling me stories about her early days picking berries, and how she and her mother, grandmother and siblings would be dropped off in the bush where they picked each year and camped for days at a time to harvest the forest fruits.

It made me realize how my growing up and picking berries was part of a long tradition in my family, and how lucky I am to have grown up eating fresh and preserved wild berries all my life.

It also reminded me about a book I was sent from Lone Pine Publishing earlier this year to review, and which I had only flipped through but hadn’t taken out to use yet.

The book is Wildberries of British Columbia, and it is a colourful guide to some of the native berries of the province, edible and inedible both.

The book is easily laid out and has bright and clear photos and diagrams of the different species of berry-producing plants and bushes and gives lots of detailed information on edibility, season, gathering tips and even some recipes for enjoying some of the fruits.

There are no range maps or specifics for exactly where you might find each berry, but they do give general descriptions of the types of habitat the berries prefer to point you in the right direction.

There are also no medicinal uses for the berries, so anyone looking for medicinal applications should look elsewhere, but there is some really interesting information on First Nations uses of many of the plants, even some considered somewhat toxic.

While the book is not a definitive plant guide, and doesn’t include the more rare species, it does give some great ideas for using some of the lesser-utilized berries such as Oregon-grape or juniper.

I especially appreciated some clarification on some of the more commonly confused species such as gooseberries and currants, or huckleberries and wild blueberries, as these always seemed to be the source of endless debates in my family.

While my mother and both grandmothers have taught me a lot about berry-picking through my life, I think this little book is just the thing for me to fill in the gaps.


Just Posted

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Northern Health set to take pulse of region’s heart health in new consultations

Fort St. James’ consultation will take place Oct. 11

No end in sight for B.C. labour shortfall: study

Retiring baby boomers causing demographic labour pool shift

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Driver’s warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Northwest B.C. high school student lands role in Monkey Beach

The novel by Haisla-author Eden Robinson is being filmed in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s Hospital warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Most Read