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Berry picking comes with rules

Jul 05, 2023 12:51 am

Alexandra Zissu reports in the Times Union that in the Hudson Valley it is now wild berry season, though picking is not always allowed. Collecting and foraging are prohibited in state parks, according to Dan Keefe, public information officer with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. So in 2023 you can't pick blueberries at Sam’s Point, which is part of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. But according to the park's marketing materials, “In the mid-1800s an interesting culture developed at Sam’s Point as people migrated to the ridge in the summers, when a tasty seasonal crop was ready to be picked.” Then, the blueberries were sold to local stores and hotels, and shipped to New York City. Now, occasionally famers market folks from New York City will try and pick a bunch on state land, though it is not allowed. James O’Neill of Deep Forest Wild Edible, teaches local foraging classes and says, “If you’re eating hand to mouth, I have never had anyone say anything to me about that. If you’re collecting in a quart, they usually don’t bother you either.” Right now blackcap raspberries are in season, though they are often mistaken for blackberries. The seasons for mulberries and juneberries have passed, and wild blueberries and huckleberries come later in the year. O’Neill reminds park visitors about the rules: “You’re not supposed to remove anything — fallen trees, branches, berries, mushrooms, dirt, rocks, anything from any of these lands.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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