Urban Foraging; Saskatoon Berries
As we creep into July, Saskatoon berries (Amelanchier alnifolia) begin to ripen - to the well trained eye that is. The berry, which goes by many names (prairie berry, serviceberry, shadbush, juneberry and, in past centuries, pigeon berry) looks much like a blueberry, although the fruit is more closely related to the apple family. This unique, sweet berry has an unmistakable flavor and can be found growing wild (and in abundance) through many parts of North America. Being less picky about soil conditions than blueberries, the Saskatoon berries can be found from sea level to mountain peaks. Turns out this mean little berry packs a serious nutritional punch - as they appear to be an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, copper and carotene and several antioxidants. So what's not to love - a refreshing treat to be enjoyed post hike, or lakeside in the woods, never mind making a great wild substitute for any of your favourite blueberry recipes.
** Please note, do your research before picking/consuming any wild edibles. There are many foraging courses available to your particular location.