Basics of Saskatoon Picking

Preparation:

* Go walking in May and scout out good patches by their white blossoms. Check out sunny slopes, or the edges of wooded areas, or near streams.

* When the first of your garden raspberries start to ripen its time to think about picking the Saskatoons. (Late July or Early August in Central Alberta.)

Picking:

* Wear long sleeves, long pants, sensible shoes, a belt, and if you aren’t a dawn picker, a hat.

* Loop a honey bucket, or a golden syrup bucket on your belt to leave both hands free.  Especially with high bushes you need one hand to hold the branch down and one to pick.  Bend bushes carefully so as not to damage them.  They are very flexible if you are careful.

*Bring extra ice cream buckets with lids to fill, but don’t trust those new plastic handles when carrying a bucket full of berries.

* Don’t fill your gathering bucket too full, and watch where you set your feet. It is painful to trip and loose a bucket of berries into the underbrush. It’s worse even, than not saving your work on the computer.

*Pick a good bush clean before you move on.  A lot of time can be lost looking for better branches.

* Know that good berries strip off easily and insect infected ones resist you.

Post Picking:

* Pick over, rinse and freeze for  excellent pies, and crisps- alone or combined with rhubarb or a tarter berry.

* Always  serve some fresh over bowls of soft vanilla ice-cream- the best!

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