How About Them Berries?
We are lucky to have a plethora of fruiting plants here in the PNW. As one species starts to wane, another ripens in its place. Right now is prime picking season for salal berries, which are arguably the best we have (Disclaimer: I say this about EVERY berry). The dark blue berries are sweet, juicy, and best of all, plentiful.
It’s hard to find a patch of forest here without salal, also known as Gaultheria shallon. The evergreen shrub’s gleaming green foliage is picked locally and sold globally for its use in floral arrangements, where it is known as “lemon leaf.”
I enjoy the berries straight from the bush, but people have historically made them into jams, jellies, and cakes. The foliage has been used medicinally to treat cramping, bug bites and stings, and much more.
If you’re headed onto the Alderbrook nature trails in search of these wonderful berries, I suggest heading all the way up to the Dogwood Ridge. Good vibes and views guaranteed.