Wild berries at Greenbank Farm
Nancy Hindes often finds wild creeping raspberries while walking along the road in front of her home south of Coupeville on Washington’s Whidbey Island.
“It grows along the ground. It’s not a very dominant plant, but I think it really likes gravelly soil, and that’s why it grows right next to the road,” she says, cautioning those unfamiliar with the wild plant to take care. “It will trip you.”
In summer, she keeps an eye out for its bright red fruit. “It’s one of the best raspberries I’ve ever eaten. It’s very sweet and very flavorful. When I see it, I’ll stop and have a … » More …
More wild berries
Numerous wild berries can be found in summer and fall around Washington state. Here are more varieties to look for.
Read about wild berries in the Pacific Northwest.
Black chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa)—A great natural source of pectin, these tart, dark berries are perfect for processing into jam and jelly.
Black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii)—These tart reddish purple berries—best in jam, jelly, sauce, and vinegar—are prevalent west of the Cascade Range in damp clearings and thicket margins.
Black huckleberries (Vaccinium membranaceum)—These are among the tastiest and most popular berries in the Pacific Northwest.
Blackcap raspberries (Rubus leucodermis)—Unlike blackberries, these berries have a hollow middle, like … » More …
The secret life of huckleberries
Matt Carroll studies people’s connections to land, particularly fire risk and human communities throughout the West. But he’s also researched an important Washington state staple: the wild huckleberry.
He’s a professor and associate director of graduate programs in the School of the Environment at Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. While most of his work centers around wildfires, he has also examined the social ecology of the huckleberry in and around the Colville and Panhandle National Forests in northeast Washington and northern Idaho.
“Huckleberries have a very deep history in our region,” Carroll says. “Indigenous people … » More …