August 23, 2013

Wild Berry Picking in the Poconos

I've never lived in a place with such an abundance of wild berries.  Granted some of you might not think it's so special, maybe you grew up picking berries and it's common to you. To me is new and very exciting. I heard locals talking about the berries and read a few things in the paper but I was clueless that there were so many all over the place. I first discovered wild berries when my husband was doing this, 
fly fishing. That man has really fallen in love with the sport. 
This was Princeton's first time crossing water.
He had some trouble getting out.  Poor little guy. 
The dogs and I like to tag along when my husband goes fly fishing. 
We enjoy watching him and of course exploring the area. 

Down a secret pathway adorned with flowers we found mushrooms

and sunlit flowers. 

There is always so much to take in. I often wonder how can I fully enjoy and consume all this beauty around me? Then we found them, 
wild blueberries. There was no sign that said, "fresh blueberries $5." They were just there right along the creek in all their glory, waiting to be gathered. So the obsession with berry hunting began. Here's an 
up-close shot of the branches and leaves of a blueberry bush. 

They really aren't that hard to identify, it's pretty obvious when you've found blueberries. Since that day fly fishing if we planned an outdoor activity I would bring along something to put berries in 
just in case we found some. 

And we did! We are training for a triathlon so we went mountain biking and I kept stopping and picking berries. I guess I'm not so good at the training thing. This time we found blackberries. They were AMAZING. Picking berries is hard work. You could pick for hours and only get 1/2 a bag full. I then thought to myself I wonder if we have any berries right in our own back yard? 

We haven't found any blueberries or raspberries but we did find those things above. 
Do you know what they are? 

These very tiny berries that hang in clusters upside down are called Elderberries. Apparently they are very high in vitamin C and can be used as a medicine. I had never heard of them before until I realized they were all over my property. You can read more about them HERE

They don't taste very good raw. I read that they definitely need to be cooked. Beware of the red ones,
 only the blue and purple elderberries are edible.
These elderberries are growing all along our creek and they aren't easy to gather. 

We managed to get quite a few elderberries. From what I understand the hardest part is cleaning them up. I'll share how I did that soon and some very yummy wild berry recipes. In the meantime I hope that if you've never had the chance to pick wild berries you'll get one soon.
 Here is some information to help you out. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent advice! I grew up on a farm where we had all those berries and we each had our own berry`picking bucket. Coming home from school we'd find plenty of delicious strawberries along the way.

    What do you call Princeton for short. One of my sisters has a dog named Prince but everybody calls him Bert.


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