Berry Season is by far one of my very favorite times of the year in the Pacific Northwest. If you have never been berry picking in Whatcom County, then you have to give it a try-but remember to hit the berry farms before the end of summer rains hit to ensure the sweetest berries! My, mother Ione, and I did the best we could to pick about 200 servings of black berries before the rains set in, and we took our bounty home to freeze the berries for our breakfast smoothies! Yum! I call the area black berries “Mother Nature’s gift to those people who live in The Pacific NW!”. All you have to do is put on thick jeans, long sleeve shirts and tie a bucket around your waist and get to work! And while you are working, make sure you sample some, that is most of the fun!
Whatcom County Berry Picking
Even if you have owned Pacific Northwest real estate all of your life, you may not realize that Whatcom County is the leader in berry production for blue berries, black berries and raspberries! Around 65% of the nations’ raspberries come from Whatcom County, and thanks to innovative farming technique of Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) processing, local growers preserve the quality of the berries, which then are used in juices, syrups, yogurt, and much more. For us locals, we benefit from getting to visit all the beautiful berry farms and pick up the freshest berries-including luscious local strawberries-at our Whatcom County farmers market.
A great excursion for the family is the Berry Production Center in Lynden, WA. There you can take tours, taste berries, and see the steps that go into taking the berries from the bountiful, beautiful fields and getting them ready to go to the grocery store, as juice, berries, pies and more.
Every July the Lynden Raspberry Festival takes place, with Kids’ day, raspberries and ice cream sundaes, live jazz, Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, wine-tasting at Samson Estates Winery, street fair, car show, fun run/walk, all-you-can-eat raspberry pancake breakfast. If you missed it this year, you will have to call the Lynden Chamber of Commerce at 354-5995 next July to make sure you don’t miss it! You can also call the Whatcom County Farm Friends(360) 354-1337 or visit www.wcfarmfriends.com to get a map of the local berry picking farms.
So, the next time you buy some berries in the store, odds are great they came from my home town Pacific Northwest area!