Locals and visitors alike are enjoying an incredible wild blueberry season this year in Sunrise Corner in the far southeast corner of Manitoba. Last year was so dry, it was pretty slim pickins. With all the moisture this year, berries are plentiful.
Oldtimers share that a great place to pick blueberries is in pine forests where there has been a forest fire in the past. Not sure if that’s consistently true, but those locations don’t disappoint. There are cars pulled over everywhere on the side of Hwy 12 and down many logging roads. The black bears seem well fed.
Visitors should be sure to pick berries on Crown land like provincial forests and wildlife management areas and not private property where there are green civic address markers.
Bears: Bears love blueberries, so make plenty of noise so they know you’re there. Check out the Bear Smart booklet for advice on what to do if you encounter bears.
Bugs: The mosquitoes and ticks are on the downturn this time of year, but repellant is still a good idea.
Bearings: Stay within sight of your vehicle and companions. In the thrill of the hunt, you can sometimes wander off so a good idea for everyone to have safety whistles. Three sharp blasts will let your companions know you’re lost. Stay put until they find you.
Blueberries are often called a superfood, but whether or not they are, they taste great. And they may taste even better when you pick them yourself. If all else fails and you’re unable to get out picking, visit one of the local farmer’s markets where you’re sure to find pies, crumbles and jam made from fresh-picked local blueberries.