Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Foraging for Blueberries

I just returned from an awesome camping weekend with my family and some neighbor friends.  There are a lot of campgrounds in the Mt. Hood area, but all of our top picks were full.  Fortunately we were able to get a site at a campground down the road.  It was a small campground with no extra amenities, but we managed to keep busy by walking one of the hiking trails.  Along one of the main trails was a small bunny trail leading down to a small lake.  This lake was fed by a spring that came right out of the ground at the base of this trail.  This spot had the most spectacular view!  Jon's eagle eyes immediately noticed the blueberry bushes running wild down by the water.  We decided to pick them, and before the weekend was over, we had 10 pounds!!

I thoroughly enjoyed picking the berries along side the river.  At times my heels were touching the water while I precariously picked those few berries almost out of my reach.  The moss covered rocks provided stepping stones for walking and pine tree branches provided hand holds for when I needed a bit more stabilizing.  This was by far the best place I have ever been to for berry picking.  I didn't have to listen to other strangers nonchalantly talk about their personal lives a few rows away at a berry farm.  I could pick in silence if I wanted to or talk to my friends and family.  Most of the time I would get in the "zone" while I listened to the water flowing over the rocks.

This little ecosystem was home to so many flowers in addition to the blueberries, thimbleberries, gooseberries, and chestnut trees that I could identify.  It was amazing how many wild edibles there were in this little space!  I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant at first to pick the blueberries because I thought they could be poisonous.  Jon reassured me many times that they were edible.  We added a bunch to our pancakes the next morning and we all ate a handful or two without any adverse affects so we went with Jon's instinct and continued picking.  It's funny how we are taught as children not to trust berries that we find in the woods because they could potentially be poisonous.  It's sad that as a society we have lost the basic knowledge and skills to identify wild edibles.  Seriously, these berries couldn't be any more organic than right where I picked them.

It was unbelievable how many berries there were in this one little spot.  The 10 pounds I gathered and the other 5 pounds my friend gathered didn't even put a dent in the actual quantity that was there.

(Blueberries drying in preparation for the freezer)

(I used 7 cups of the blueberries for making 8 half pints of blueberry pie filling.  Unfortunately one of the jars broke in the canner---first time I've had that happen in 4 years.  The pie filling will be used in our hobo pie irons for future camping trips!)


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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