One of the ways to cultivate belonging of course, is to become friends with the local flora and fauna. Since it’s June that means it’s the beginning of berry season, and they’re out there awaiting our conversation!
In our neck of the woods (Humboldt County), we are blessed with many kinds of wild berries. Blackberries by the bushel will be everywhere in a couple months, but already Salmonberries are plumping nice.
We found a variety of berries among a a beautiful mixed shore pine/Sitka spruce forest with red alder, deer and bracken fern, elderberry & huckleberry bushes (later season). Thimbleberry flowers are blooming, with berries coming soon. Salal berries a little later. Also, the tendrils of wild cucumbers were looping through the other bushes–they look like some alien sea pod and are gorgeous, but don’t eat them! .
Twinberry honeysuckle (the dark ones) are not really edible, but have been used medicinally and for dying basketry, etc. We’re looking forward to experimenting with some wild dyes this season.
All three of these berries are new to me, but getting to know them and the whole plant helps me sink into a deeper sense of belonging with the land and more-than-human world.
What are some wild berries in your area?