When I was growing up, we had a field of wild blueberries behind our house. Every August, I would spend hours each day filling old ice cream buckets. My dad would then clean them, and sell them to his colleagues at his work. I would get about $1 a pound – turning a $5/hr summer job. Not bad for 1985.Now, as my kids are growing, I’ve rediscovered my love of berry picking. In Alberta, Saskatoon berries are the blue goodness of choice and they are just rounding into form on Calgary area farms this week.
Saskatoon berries are at their peak picking time at the end of July, and first week of August. If you’re eager, and can pick around the fruit that needs a little more time to hang, you can head out to The Bloomingfields in Didsbury to get started this weekend.
The Bloomingfields is a beautiful property that also features big blooms of rhubarb, raspberries, cherries, carrots, potatoes, and onions for picking. There’s a tea house, a large lawn, and friendly staff to point you around.
Where: Just north of Okotoks between Hwy 2 and 2A
What: Black currants, vegetables
The Saskaberry Ranch
Where: Northwest of Calgary, close to Sundre
What: Strawberries, saskatoons, vegetables, eggs, and range chicken
Where: North of Okotoks, 3 km east of Hwy 2
What: Saskatoons, pies, bakery
Where: Just north of Strathmore
What: Strawberries, vegetables
Solstice Berry Farms
Where: Northwest of Calgary, close to Crossfield