Over the years I've heard stories of people who use berry rakes to harvest huckleberries and other wild berries commercially but in doing so strip the bushes of all their leaves. Berry rakes were always spoken of in a negative manner and sounded so destructive that I never bothered to do any research until this spring. We found this Berry Picker that is supposed to help harvest more berries but not strip all the leaves off the plant.
When I first tried it, I will admit I didn't like it. Luckily I read this great article on the International Wild Huckleberry Association website on how to properly use a berry rake. Once I figured out a few techniques on how to successfully use the berry picker I really got into it. I was amazed at how many more berries it harvested compared to what I could pick by hand!
While we had a few more leaves in our huckleberries than if we had just hand picked, it was worth it for the extra berries we were able to harvest. To clean the berries, I pour our buckets of huckleberries into a large bowl filled with water. All the leaves and stems float to the top and can be easily scooped out. The few extra leaves we had in the batch this time only took me an extra minute or two to scoop out. Now they're ready to preserve or make some delicious huckleberry lemonade!
Now that we figured out how to use the berry rake, we're definitely going to invest in another one so both my husband and I have one to use. I'm sure we'll eventually get one for our little nugget but since she's a toddler she still prefers to put every berry she picks into her mouth and not the bucket!
Do you have any tips on how to maximize your berry harvesting?
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