Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where The Wild Things Are

That would be wild berries.  I'm always on the lookout for 
free sources of fruit for jam or jelly.  Well especially 'different' things.  We were pretty successful the last two trips to Oliver.  I get asked occasionally if I have Saskatoon jam.  I never do, because they are too expensive to buy.  I planted three bushes a few years ago, and have yet to get a berry off them.  It's not from lack of trying on the bushes part, it's just that deer also love Saskatoons, and they don't wait until the berries are ripe.  When we got back from our early May trip to Oliver, the deer had been through the north garden and munched off the new growth as well as the green berries.  One of the three bushes was so ravished in it's first year here that it never recovered, and died.  So I've realized that unless I keep the bushes caged, my chances of getting fruit off them are pretty slim.  But also on that May trip, I realized that those bushes along a certain road west of Oliver had the same flowers on them as our Saskatoon bushes at home.  So early July when we went back, I wanted to check them out.  They were Saskatoons alright, but they were past their prime, and what berries there were, were high up because the deer had already been at them.  We never did get back to those bushes and get any picked.

Riding north up the Hike and Bike trail though, we hit a jackpot of Oregon Grape bushes. And I had just happened to bring a couple of plastic bags along.




You must wear a helmet while you are picking these berries, just in case some fall off and hit you on the head.


The leaves are similar to Holly leaves, so it is a prickly job getting those berries off.  At least they grow in bunches, so you are not picking them off one at a time.  We got a couple of bags full.

 We also learned to recognize poison ivy, and thankfully not the hard way.  That's not something we have here.  Our main thing to watch out for here are stinging nettles, and I can spot those a mile away.  

I'll be keeping my eyes open for poison ivy though, after I grossed myself out looking at pictures of poison ivy rash.


  1. Poison ivy thrives here in Minnesota. We are taught very young to watch out for 3-leafed plants. The berries look luscious.

  2. What GramMary said! Watch out especially on humid or rainy days. I use Jewelweed Soap to wash up arms and legs after being out in the brush..the PI rash is far I have escaped this year. Those berries look wonderful:)

  3. What a fun time biking and picking berries ! You might get berries from your bushes if you put chicken wire around the bush and up high to keep the deer away for a bit so you can get a harvest off of them or sprinkle Blood meal around the bottom the deer do not like the smell of it and will keep away ! Thanks for sharing ! wonderful photos to ! Have a good day !

    1. I have used the blood meal, and it seems to work, it's just a matter of remembering to do it:( We get so much rain that you are constantly having to reapply it. The chicken wire makes sense, but is just a pain in the you know what:(

  4. We love the blue berries
    Benny & Lily

  5. Cool grapes, I thought they were blueberries at first!


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