Seasonal Observations: Saskatoonberries

Summer means berries –  from the first wild salmonberries, to strawberries in late June, raspberries after that, thimbleberries, saskatoonberries and cherries, to the blueberries and huckleberries that bring up the tail end of the season.

The saskatoonberries (tsáqwmaoz̓) (Amelanchier alnifolia) are out now.

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Here’s a bit of trivia: the city of Saskatoon was named after the berry (not the other way around.)

A member of the rose family, they resemble blueberries and were known by those with traditional wisdom to have medicinal value – the berry has recently been found to be very high in antioxidants particularly phenolics, flavonols and anthocyanins.

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Meg Yamamoto, a Vancouver-based freelance writer and photographer (and a Saskatoon pie fanatic), has written a comprehensive article about sakastoonberries, singing its praises as garden-worthy:

Berries may be harvested when they turn from pink to deep purple. Saskatoons ripen fairly evenly, allowing most of your crop to be picked at one time.

Saskatoon fruit is delicious fresh, in pies and desserts, canned, frozen, or made into wine, juice, or preserves.


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