This last trip to Oliver was a bonanza in the wild berry department. When we headed out on the Tuesday, we knew we were in for a hot week. We were in the car, and it doesn't have air conditioning. The temperature wasn't too bad when we left home, but by the time we reached Princeton it would have been 30+ C. The plan was to stop there for a bit of late lunch, and take the dogs to the river for a swim, which we did. But I just happened to notice that there were a ton of Saskatoon berry bushes right close to where we parked. So when we got back to the shaded car, Larry waited there with the dogs, and I went back out into the heat and picked some berries. Got a few cups, but it was slow picking, and it was hot, and we really needed to keep going.
We got to Oliver about suppertime. The next morning we went out for a decent bike ride, along through the orchards and vineyards, and then crossed the highway and rode north up the Hike and Bike trail along the river back towards town. I was on the lookout. We saw some of these, but I didn't know what they were.
Took a sample with us and stopped at the tourist info. They are most helpful and friendly there. Neither of the women knew what they were, but they did have a book and we were able to figure out that they were chokecherries. That made me kind of excited:) We had also spotted a mother-lode of Oregon Grape bushes, although in one spot they were firmly protected by a phalanx of poison ivy. So we decided that we'd head back and pick some of that bounty when it was cooler.
We headed out the next morning, when it wasn't really any cooler, with buckets and bags. We picked four buckets of the Choke Cherries, three of Oregon Grape, and I spotted a bush of Golden Currants that I had somehow missed the day before, so we got a bucket of those as well. I think Larry thought he was going golfing.
Forty pounds of berries in total.
I got them all cleaned, washed, bagged and into the freezer. We also did the same thing with 40 lbs of cherries, except they had to be pitted as well. Blanched and peeled 25 lbs of peaches, and made another 5lbs into jam. Lots more peaches yet to come.