blackberry phenology wheel
An example of a phenology wheel of blackberry; the drawing is by graduate student Darcy Page for her Natural History project

Harvesting Native Edible Berries of the North Cascades

This Naturalist Note is written by graduate student Darcy Page, as part of her fall natural history project. You can view other students' work here.

The canon of the Honorable Harvest is poised to make its comeback, too, as people remember that what’s good for the land is also good for the people.”

~ Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

The intrigue and mystique of wild edible berries in the Pacific Northwest can conjure myriad associations. Humans, and other animals in the more than human world, have unique relationships to wild edible berries. I have been foraging my whole life and blackberries were the first wild fruit I could identify. I clearly remember the sights, smells, tastes and feeling of summertime foraging trips on the remote beaches of Whidbey Island. There was absolutely nothing like picking sun-warmed blackberries off of beach side cliffs and tasting the sweet, seedy juice. I still taste the memory of life affirming magic and wonder when I eat blackberries freshly plucked from barbed vines.
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