To use berry pickers or not

Berry Picker: Good or Bad?

One of the three ways to enjoy berries, as mentioned in screen cast 1, is wild berry picking. I am born and raised in Alaska and berry picking is apart of my culture, living off the land is how I grew up. One thing that came up in the screen cast was a berry picker, a device used for easier berry picking. Something that has come up a lot recently is the topic of why they should not be used. Elders in the Alaska Native community are saying that it takes away from the plant and pulls off the leaves, making for an unsuccessful berry season the next year. I wanted to bring this topic up and see what others thought and ask the experts! I would be very interested in finding out more about this, seeing as how blueberries are actually a large part of my life!  LF Fairbanks

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One response to “To use berry pickers or not

  1. I just commented about the berry picker in an article by Heidi Rader that appears on the blog (see Bog Blueberries in the Garden). My own personal opinion is that berry pickers work well with lingonberries but can be very destructive with bog blueberries. Not only can you rip off leaves and braanches, but the flowers are formed the year prior to fruiting. You could be ripping off future fruit if you’re not careful. That said, there are berry pickers that are made of metal loops that are far more gentle on plants than the tines. Also If you gently pull the branches through the picker rather than forcing it, you do little damage.

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