The Story of the Wild Blue Huckleberry

Mention wild blue huckleberries to old timers and someone will undoubtedly argue whether or not it’s really a huckleberry, or whether it’s a wild blueberry. No one ever seems to win these arguments, but everyone agrees that these wild berries are one of nature’s most delicious treats. Over a dozen different species of wild blue mountain huckleberry flourish in the Pacific Northwest. They grow in bogs, open woods and mountain meadows, from Alaska to Northern California and eastward across the continent. However, the huckleberries with the most flavor and aroma are found on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Montana and Idaho. Known botanically as Vaccinium, locals often refer to wild huckleberries by their common regional names of evergreen huckleberries, whortleberries, bilberries, wild blueberries, and a host of others. Wild blue mountain huckleberries are related to domestic, commercially raised blueberries, and can be used interchangeably in recipes. You’ll notice, however, that the fruit of the wild berries is very special it’s much more flavorful, possessing that unique character and magical taste that only wild berries enjoy. Our Wild Harvest Blue Huckleberries are handpicked in the rugged foothills of the Northwest mountains and carefully handled to preserve their unique and delicious flavor. Interestingly, the closer our northwest wild blue huckleberries grow to the Rocky Mountains, the more concentrated their flavor and aroma Wild blue huckleberry plants have a white to pink bell shaped blossom, which appears from May through July. Ripe berries appear in July and last late into autumn’s first heavy frost. While most berries are dark blue, some are almost jet black; others are a dark red wine color, while others are light blue with a white, frosted bloom. It is this latter variety that is really the wild blueberry, most commonly found in the mountains of the Cascades. Plants range from small shrubs to large bushes, often growing more than seven feet tall. The berries themselves range in size from the dwarf Evergreen Huckleberry found on the Olympic Peninsula, to the globe size mountain huckleberries of the Western Rocky and Bitterroot Mountains. When the sweet fruit of these huckleberries ripen in August and September, local pickers often have to share these treats with bears, deer and all sorts of birds. Luckily, there are plenty of berries for all, and pickers can plan on gathering these wonderful berries right up until the first heavy freeze of winter. Whether you bake our Wild Harvest Blue Huckleberries in cobbler or pie, or spread our homemade wild blueberry jam on toast or pancakes, you’re bound to love the wonderful flavor of these special Northwest wild berries.