British Columbia

How to have a berry good time foraging this summer

An expert gives us her four "picks" for great berries you can find in B.C.'s great outdoors.

An expert tells us about 4 berries you'll want to look out for

Robin Kort forages for berries near the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. (Ashley Fraser/CBC)

The summer season is starting to fade, but when it comes to berry season, there is still lots to enjoy.

Blueberries and strawberries are available in stores but there's a whole host of wild berries to be found outside, if you know where to look.

Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures owner Robin Kort teaches people how to safely look for berries in B.C. and says you can find more than food when you go foraging.

"One of the reasons I love teaching these classes is just to get people out into nature and be less afraid of it," she said.

"We tend to live in our cities and our little worlds, you know what's out there … It helps, in the long-term, hopefully, to [build] a stronger connection with the world and want to preserve it."

Kort says it's important to know what it is you're gathering in order to stay safe, and also not to over-gather.

She says taking only 20 per cent of a bush's berries will ensure there is enough left for wildlife.

Here are some of her highlights for berries to pick in B.C.


"They're quite small this year because of the lack of rain and they're very sweet, I just had one that's amazing."

Salal berries

"What I'll do with it is make a sauce with it and put in on venison. You can imagine it tastes a bit like a blueberry but with a taste that's uniquely B.C."


"These berries do taste like a raspberry but sweeter and more intense … We haven't had any rain so you don't need a dehydrator. Pick it, bag it, put in the cupboard."

Oregon grapes

"It's a tart berry and ... I like to use it is as a lemon substitute. For instance, if you want to do a 100 Mile Diet, you can use Oregon grape [centre, large, blue berry] … If you press [them] and take the liquid, you can use that in your cakes and vinaigrettes."

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With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast