SASKATOON (SERVICE BERRY)

 

Saskatoon’s grow on small bush/trees in small clusters along the branches. They typically grow where blueberries do as well along the edges of bush roads and fields. They tend to grow in clumps and sometimes entire groves can be found hidden by other trees and bushes.

There are two common Saskatoon berry trees in this area, one that produces larger, but fewer deep purple berries and a taller tree/bush with smaller redder/lighter berries. Berries will ripen at different times depending on southern exposure, rainfall and ground conditions.

  

What you need
Standard berry picking equipment with a good sturdy pair of boots. Covered container as the small branches and roughly terrain can cause spillage. A bush axe may be useful for clearing a trail into a grove.

 

Where to look
Bush roads, south facing hillsides, fringes of older blueberry fields, edges of fields and recently cleared areas.

Storage methods

The best way at preserving berries is frozen. To freeze the berries, try to freeze them in sizes your recipes would call for. If you make a berry crisp that requires 4 cups, save them in four cup batches.

In a shallow pan (cookie sheets work well) spread out the berries on waxed paper and place in deep freeze for a couple of hours. The berries will freeze loosely and can then easily be put into containers or even vacuum sealed as I do.

Loosely frozen in containers allows you to sprinkle into your favorite recipes/cereals a little at a time.

Where to look

Along roadsides/disturbed areas, they enjoy sun  and a multitude of soil types. Driving bush roads where the roadsides are cut back regularly provide great habitat. Blueberry fields especially on the edges along treeline.

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