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Thread: Best Berry spots

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Best Berry spots

    Being from Montana, we used to head to the hills in late July for some huckelberry pickin. Some of the sweetest, best tasting berries I have eaten. Now, I know how protective folks can be about their favorite berry pickin spot. What I want to know are there hucks up here in AK? If so, without giving up your favorite spot, can anyone tell me some good place to start looking for them up here? I live in Wasilla, so any place with in 30-50 miles would be best. Thanks

  2. #2
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Dust View Post
    ....What I want to know are there hucks up here in AK? ....
    No huckleberries in Southcentral that I know of. Maybe Prince William Sound, but I've never heard of such.

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    No huckleberries in the interior as far as I know. Maybe you can cultivate your own patch if the roots can survive the cold winter temps.

    Plenty of other berries around for pickin. Blueberries, raspberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, and cranberries just to name a few.
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  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    And salmonberries, crowberries, on and on and on. No hucks, but don't neglect the treasure trove that we do have!

  5. #5
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Don't forget the currants!!

    Reds grow pretty much everywhere. For blacks the most I've found were on the Southside of Eklutna Lake. Looong walk but lots of berries plus thumbnail sized blueberries on the benches if you're in the mood to climb

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Pretty sure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    No huckleberries in Southcentral that I know of. Maybe Prince William Sound, but I've never heard of such.
    ... that the berries which grow in Seward, Homer, Seldovia, and other places on the coast of Southcentral are huckleberries. And yes, they are not flavorful as the huckleberries I picked in Montana in my youth. They are seedy as well. But they make good pies and jams.

    In Southeast they have red huckberries as well as the blue and blackish-blue varieties.

    And around Soldotna here... well we have some bear berries and low and high bush crans. That's about it.

  7. #7
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    Default Thanks everyone!

    Thanks everyone for the good info on berries in AK. Isn't it great that you can go out and pick your own berries in the summer and not have to buy them in the store? I sure do miss the hucks, but I think that all the other berries will make up for them. Now, I just need to find a few places to start pickin! Thanks again for all you imput!

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    We have lots of red ones. I wonder how you would go about cultivating them for sweetness?
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Drive up to Hatchers pass in August and there are plenty of blueberries over the hillsides.

    On the flatlands (that haven't been turned into homes) there are watermellon berries, they look like purple grapes and taste somewhat like watermellons.

    Highbush cranberries are also abundent in the flats and show up in September. Yes they stink, the pit is large and they are bitter, but they are a great flavoring for salsa, and also make a 1/2 decent syrup if you add enough sugar.

    Huckleberries are abundant in PWS, but you'll need a boat to get to them. The nice thing is you can find them in July.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    ... the berries which grow in Seward, Homer, Seldovia, and other places on the coast of Southcentral are huckleberries. And yes, they are not flavorful as the huckleberries I picked in Montana in my youth. They are seedy as well. But they make good pies and jams.....
    I was surprised by your post and did some googling. You're right. There's even a variety called the Alaska Huckleberry.

    Apparently your opinion about flavor is shared by others:

    ....We made our first real foray onto land today, crossing Sheep Bay in the morning and then cutting up over the peninsula, headed for Port Gravina. The forest was thick with huckleberry bushes down low, which might have been nice if the huckleberries weren't so bad. As it was, they were just thick bushes with plump blue tempting berries that were only worth eating maybe 5% of the time. But soon we hit a series of beautiful meadows with small tasty blueberries and a clear rushing stream......

  11. #11
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    anywhere above treeline has blue berries and lowbush cranberries. In wetter areas (PWS, SE, parts of Kodiak) highbush blueberries and salmon berries are all over the place. Many a times I've gone to climb a mountain in august and never made it to the top because the berries were too good. And salmon berries oh my god salmon berries, so good!
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Life with out Hucks?

    Like some others, I grew up in Montana and Hucks are part of life. We now live in Oregon and the wife and I were out today picking Hucks. Nothing like purple fingers. We were just saying "Hope they have Hucks in Alaska". We are moving up there in a couple of years. Maybe the wife was right when she said we need to pick a lot of them just before we move up.

    Maybe we'll just learn to adapt. Enjoy what we can pick in Alaska and have someone ship us some Hucks for pies!

  13. #13
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default Near Eagle River

    Good day for blueberries... lotsa crow berries (didn't pick them, didn't really know until we were home. Some cranberries -- I think.
    Definately bring the field guide next trip.
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    Default Watermelon Berry?

    Can anyone tell me if this is a watermelon berry?

    Want to be sure before I start picking/eating.

    Thanks.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We have been doing absolutely great on blueberries over the past week - some up in South Fork Eagle River, others behind Baldy. It seems like a great berry year from what I've experienced thus far. (We also picked 3 gallons of raspberries today, but those weren't wild.)

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    Default Watermelon Berry

    Stogey,

    Yup, That's a watermelon berry.

  17. #17
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    We have been doing absolutely great on blueberries over the past week - some up in South Fork Eagle River, others behind Baldy. It seems like a great berry year from what I've experienced thus far. (We also picked 3 gallons of raspberries today, but those weren't wild.)
    I agree. From what I've seen, it's a great blueberry year.

    The funny thing is that the fruit trees at my house (2 apple trees and a small cherry tree) have had their poorest year ever!

    Go figure..........

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    Unbelievable amount of crow/mossberrys everywhere you look, and lots of blueberrys too! Need to use up a half gallon of blues today.

  19. #19
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Arrow

    Any recommendations on a good field guide for Alaska's wild berries and other edibles like mushrooms.

    Jeff Corwin really got my attention on a recent episode of "Into Alaska" when he sauteed a giant, hand-picked MUSHROOM over the campfire and served it as a side dish to a fresh-caught sockeye salmon fillet. Must be plenty more around.

  20. #20
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    Exclamation

    By the way, Arctic Valley has plenty of blueberries and crowberries.

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