Books: Northwestern Wild Berries
I came across a copy of a few years back Northwestern Wild Berries, at a library book sale. Foraging is one reason I love hiking. I don’t take a lot, here and there I’ll take a berry as I walk along. It is overall simple to know what one is picking – if they are taking Blueberries and Huckleberries, Thimbleberries and the slightly sour/tart Salmonberry:
Two weekends ago, while hiking, we encountered more Salmonberry plants than I had seen in a long time. Some like the orange-yellow best, I prefer when they are vivid red, even the deepest red with burgundy splashes. And did you know Salmonberries are part of the wild Raspberry family?
Wild berries are never truly sweet. There is a tartness that reminds you they are feral, unlike garden varieties, which are bred for sweetness. The hunt for them is what makes it wonderful for me, that maybe you’ll find some, maybe you won’t. And with a good book, one can find berries they maybe didn’t know were edible – even if you decide not to try them, they are there for one to identify. And that can be half the fun!
In modern times, apps have replaced books – and mostly I am OK with that. Sometimes though, an old school full-color print book is better. This small tome is often looked over and used. Beyond the pictures and in-depth descriptions, it has beautiful drawings of leaves and stems. While you might not live where I do, keep an eye out for old books on berries…and you might get a bonus while hiking!