This will be an extension of my previous blog, and there has been a lot to write about within the last two weeks! I also know that I already wrote about all the delicious and beautiful things that come with the seasons, but it’s honestly such an awesome experience thinking of all the edible wild berries that I’ve learned about and tasted, that I will go into detail here.
At Tijuana River National Wildlife Refuge, there are a few edible species, such as Himalayan, cutleaf, and trailing blackberries. On hot summer days, the refuge smells and feels like an oven with a blackberry pie inside! Yet on our trip to Astoria I was able to taste other berries.
The first and most interesting berry I tried was the thimbleberry. As we walked and restored a trail, one of the interns from EFTA’s National Park Service program stopped to grab a snack. Curious and also in the mood for a snack, I asked what he was eating, and he began to point out the broad palmate leaves on which the thimbleberries grow. The thimbleberries were small, flat, and very, very fragile. They almost look like little red berets when placed on your finger. To me this was one of the most unique tasting berries as it tasted a lot like chamoy or some type of Mexican candy. If you all have tried it, what would you describe it as?
I also tried some salal berries while on this trip. The slightly oval salal berries are a deep bluish black color with a star-shaped cut at the end of it. These berries taste an awful lot like blueberries, but unlike blueberries that grow in clumps, these berries grow in a line along a reddish branch.
Another memorable though not as delicious plant that I ate on this trip was the oxalis. Oxalis oregana is probably often confused for clover, because it has a very similar shapes and tastes a lot like spinach.
Lately I’ve also been snacking on some delicious plums and cherries from people’s yards. The plums look pretty standard on the outside, but are a deep red when cut open.
You would think I would try making a jam or something with all the abundant fruit, but at the moment I am content enough eating them fresh. 😛