Lee Ann Moore and Don Duclo, Oceanside Jams

If you have ever wanted to truly experience the terroir of Humboldt County — the flavors that have been enjoyed since the beginning of time by the Wiyot, Hupa, Yurok, Karuk, and others, many of those flavors have been put into a jar by local maven of all things local and canned, Lee Ann Moore.  I’m not just talking about the ubiquitous Himalaya blackberry, the upclass huckleberry (both the common black and the caviar of the jam world — red huckleberry), but I’m talking about the truly obscure and delicious.  I’m talking thimbleberries, a fragile berry that produces a handful at a time throughout the season so you have to return again and again to pick, I’m talking about salal which many people have only seem in flower arrangements, and more.

Lee Ann’s father Don joins her on berry picking excursions in which they pick gallons of berries, but also dozens of the ever present and annoying ticks…reason enough to just let Lee Ann and her father do the picking and canning for us!  (I squirm in my chair as I write this)…

Don’t bother asking where the berry picking patches are — they are well-kept secrets despite my many attempts to trip them up and get a bead on the locations.  Lee Ann just laughs each time I try!

Listen to part 1

Listen to part 2

Facebook page Oceanside Jams

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Ilene Poindexter and Matt Marshall, Westhaven Blackberry Festival

While they call it the Westhaven Blackberry Festival — I’m all about the Huckleberry Pies — seriously — have you ever picked huckleberries?  To say tedious is an understatement — with the possible exception of thimbleberries, huckleberries are the most time consuming berry to pick in my humble opinion.  And these women — who get together every Tuesday at 2 starting in January to make pies all year long for the festival — make and sell huckleberry pies (and blackberry too).

I finally had the chance to eat a slice of the huckleberry pie and it was the best I’ve ever had.  It had perfect crust — and the berries are making my mouth water just writing this.  The festival has been going for over 50 years and is the last weekend in July — if you get a chance, go to the festival.  They even pre-sell pies so if you miss the festival — you can buy a pie to pop into the freezer.  It comes with instructions on how to bake it.

Listen here

Check out the Facebook Page for the Westhaven Blackberry Festival