Saturday, July 26, 2008

Predicting BUMPER Huckleberry Crop in 2008!

I got reports the last two days, from people in three locations in the Idaho Panhandle, and I am predicting A BONKERS BUMPER CROP of wild huckleberries. Maybe the best since 1994, perhaps even better.

Roy from the Coeur d'Alene area says the huckleberry crop is still mostly green, but ripening. At the lowest elevations of wild huckleberry habitat on the south facing slopes, huckleberries are mostly just getting ripe, and are BIG! Mid elevation, most plants have some ripe berries, but not as sweet as they will get, but most huckleberries still on the green side of things. At the higher elevations, berries are still pretty much green, but LOTS OF THEM!

Overall the crop is FULL THREE WEEKS behind a normal year, with the heavy winter snows, that took so long to melt off, with the cool wet spring we had this year.

Gail from the Clark Fork area said her husband was out and found three different patches, at different elevations, each with some ripe huckleberries. Huckleberries were "big" at the higher elevations, and she is a true huckleberry hound, making lots of huckleberry goodies in her home kitchen.

If you've never gone huckleberry picking before, or if you've stayed home the last few years (especially 2007, one of the worst years on record), plan some time in 2008. Peak of the wild huckleberry harvest will be the first two weeks of August.

Also, for those of you thinking of using rakes, I just posted instructions on how to use a huckleberry rake, plus tips on managing your huckleberry picking foray. Check it out at Huckleberry Rake! Plus, I posted a couple photos from a huckleberry workshop, in Elk River, Idaho in 2005, with Dr. Dan Barney, Idaho's resident huckleberry expert, showing the group how to pick huckleberries with a huckleberry rake.

All for today. We will be out picking August 2 in the Clark Fork area, and August 8-10 in the Coeur d'Alene area.

Let me know what you would like to see in this blog!

Happy Huckleberry Picking!


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