By: Ross Ballard

A few days ago Valemount local Greg Smith and I had the pleasure of taking some new friends out berry picking for their very first time. Jerry and Amy are on a working holiday from Korea, and will spend the next few months in our little village. Greg and I had been out picking the day before with fantastic results, picking around five pounds.

We took the ladies to the same patch and they were amazed at how many wild berries there were. We started picking saskatoons and soon found large raspberry vines drooping with little edible rubies. We changed patches and soon found some nice blueberries and grape size saskatoons. We ended up with around twelve pounds of mixed fresh berries. The girls summed up their experience in one sentence “We Love Canada!”

Jerry and Amy had never seen or picked wild berries. This experience reminded me how lucky we as a community are to live in such a free and rich wilderness and that things we locals take for granted end up being amazing adventures and memories for others.

This is Ross Ballard reminding you to keep your berry patch a secret, but share your bounty!

Ross’ Recipe

After picking such a wonderful selection of berries I was feeling ambitious, so I found a Berry crumble recipe on the internet and modified it to my liking. The result was a fantastic crumble that is almost heavenly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Although I will not divulge the location of the berry patch, I am more than happy to share my recipe!

4 “½ cups fresh berries
2 tablespoons honey
1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups steel cut oats
1 “½ cups packed brown sugar
1-2 tea spoons cinnamon
1 “½ cups butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
In a small sauce pan melt your butter over low heat
Stir the honey and lemon juice into the berries and set aside
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients and stir together

Pouring small amounts of melted butter and using your clean hands slowly combine until ingredients are well mixed.

Press half the mixture into two small loaf pans
Cover with berry mixture
Lightly cover berries with remaining crumble
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
Have fun and enjoy!