The Art of Berry Picking

Blueberry picking in Alaska is as American as apple pie, or blueberry pie, whichever you prefer, but with your freshly picked bounty of berries I suggest the later. Mother Natures all natural fruit snack can be found all over the state, from the side of the rode to deep in the forest on a hiking trail, it also packs quite the nutritious punch. These little berries are one of nature’s super foods, chock full of anti-oxidants that feed the brain to prevent nervous system break down in old age, improve cognition, and maintain healthy brain function. Researchers have been using the the anti-oxidants found in blueberries to help treat brain damage and disabilities as well.

In celebration of this wonderful little fruit, Alyeska is holding the 4th annual Blueberry Festival at The Hotel Alyeska August 13th and 14th. Along with a list of artisan vendors, the 2011 Blueberry Festival will include many events and activities including tie dying, cooking demonstrations, pie eating contests, foot races and live music. Events begin at noon on Saturday and Sunday and run to around 6:00 P.M. For a list of featured events, their times and locations visit the information booth in the courtyard.

While in the festival guests can hike on many different paths and areas along the resort base, down the Winner Creek Trail or in the area around Chair 7. These areas have historically yielded troves of sweet berries and although they are easily accessible there are plenty to go around.

Berry Tip:

  • Once picked, don’t place the berries still warm from the sun, in a closed bag or container. Leave the container open so moisture doesn’t form in the container.
  • Don’t wash berries until just before using to prevent berries from becoming mushy.
  • Chill berries soon after picking to increase shelf life.  If refrigerated, fresh-picked blueberries will keep 10 to 14 days.
  • Freeze berries in freezer containers without washing to keep the skins from toughening.  Place berries one layer deep. Freeze, and then pour the frozen berries into freezer containers. Because unwashed blueberries freeze individually, they can be easily poured from containers in desired amounts. Just before using, wash the berries in cold water.

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