Foraging for Serviceberries

It’s urban foraging season and this year I am finding new places to pick.  For those new to urban foraging my recommendation is to walk everywhere you can go in your town and the food will find you.  My recent finds came from regular walks running errands and such.  The best way to find what is falling from above is actually to look down.  I will be strolling along and come to a dead stop when I realize that there is food under my feet.  Sometimes you can find locations while riding bike but I find walking allows me to find the trees closer to the houses that might be missed on 2 wheels.  In the last 3 days I found 2 cherry, 3 serviceberry and 2 mulberry trees ready for picking.  I had never actually heard of serviceberries until last year when some people in our neighborhood group introduced me to the tree that is growing in front of their church. It’s a simple berry that is sort of a mixture of a blueberry and cherry in flavor.  The tree has many names including: shadbush, shadwood or shadblow, serviceberry or sarvisberry, wild pear, juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum or wild-plum, and chuckley pear.

I have been keeping track of the locations by posting on the site  As I find new spots I add them but the NW corner of town is the only space that has much listed so far.  If you know of fruit trees that are open to the public, please add more to the list.


Two of the serviceberries are along the tree lawn on N. College st on Dickinson’s campus so tonight while my son was at dance class 1 block away, I took a half hour and foraged the berries my 5′ 1″ frame could reach without a ladder.  The berries are ready NOW so if you read this and are interested in picking, stop by in the next day or 2 because this is the end of the season for them.  In 30 minutes I harvested 6 cups of serviceberries.  I’m going to make a cheesecake, shrub for mixed cocktails, and I left a bit for a breakfast smoothie.


Ames-8-Handle-Fresh-Fruit-PickerThe one cherry tree is in the backyard of a church in my neighborhood so I emailed the pastor to see if I could forage before they all fell.  I got the A-ok so in the next few days I will get to cherry picking.  I am so committed that I have finally invested in an apple picker so I can reach up into the trees and not have to climb them. The mulberry tree behind my garage is also ready so by the end of this week I will be up to my eyes in bite sized fruit.  Did I mention I also grow blackberries and raspberries in my yard? It’s berry season, bitches.

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