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AnnaD

Salal Berries

Has anyone here ever used salal berries? They grow in abundance around the pond near our house. They look very similar to blueberries, but with tougher skins and were apparently a native American food.

I'm going to experiment with them this Autumn when they are ripe; apparently they make a very good wine, and are also used in preserves. The native Americans used to make them into a sort of fruit leather as well. I'll be relying on them this year since the wild raspberries have not been all that successful.

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has made use of these berries; I'm not sure how common they are in this country.
sally_in_wales

I have to confess I hadn't even heard of them Embarassed
AnnaD

I hadn't heard of them either until I looked them up online having found them growing nearby. The bushes do bear a lot of fruit, so there should be plenty for me to experiment with!
AnnaD

Oh, and you may be interested to hear that they are also used as a natural dye.
sally_in_wales

that is interesting, I'd be interested to see if they have better fade resistance than most berries. Will you be trying dyeing with them?
AnnaD

Probably not this year. I want to learn to use natural dyes, but have yet to make a start. The berries are meant to give a purple colour; I could send you some down to experiment with if you want. I don't think they'll be out until maybe September though.
Tavascarow

That sounds useful both to human & wildlife.
Don't suppose you could macerate & float some seeds?
Wink
AnnaD

Yes I could; they are quite seedy berries. I might even be able to find a sapling if you want.
Jess

How do you cook them? Are they nice?
AnnaD

I've never used them, but I guess you'd use them like blueberries. I noticed that the jam recipe requires less sugar than normal jam as the fruit is pretty sweet. I'll be experimenting with them as soon as they're ripe Smile
sgt.colon

From Wiki.

Quote:
Its dark blue berries and young leaves are both edible and are efficient appetite suppressants
Tavascarow

Yes I could; they are quite seedy berries. I might even be able to find a sapling if you want.

A few seeds in an envelope would be the cheapest option, or a few berries in a poly bag.
From what I've read they are easy from fresh seed.
AnnaD

That's grand. They are still green, so I doubt they'll be ripe until the end of September at least.
Shane

From Wiki.

Quote:
Its dark blue berries and young leaves are...efficient appetite suppressants
Most things are if eaten in sufficient quantity sgt.colon

From Wiki.

Quote:
Its dark blue berries and young leaves are...efficient appetite suppressants
Most things are if eaten in sufficient quantity

Laughing Laughing Fair point.
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