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close up of red cherries in a hand

It never ceases to amaze me the available natural bounty one can find in your own city, especially a city with such a lush river valley system, such as Edmonton.

We spent the day at Rundle Park, the kids rode their bikes and we watched them being the goofs that they are. We then headed over our favorite bridge towards Gold Bar, as there is a lovely little place you can easily head down to the riverbank.

a kid riding a bike at Rundle Park

The walk itself is gorgeous, everything is just barely starting to turn color, making it that lovely between time when you still have leaves on the trees and plants that are alive, but the colors are getting brilliant.

view of lake with green and red grasses

I had noticed the cranberries on the way down to the river, noted where they were with plans of picking them on the way back.

I then proceeded to make my children eat all the popcorn in the Ziploc bag I had in order to have something to put them in.

Poor, suffering children.

And those poor suffering children were in those bushes picking cranberries with mom faster than you could say “city kids.”

a kid wearing bike helmet in the bushes picking cranberries

In about 10 minutes, we got 4 pounds of cranberries. Four flipping pounds. I filled the large Ziploc, despite the children “helping” me.

The beauty of these is that they hang in clusters, which not only makes them easier to pinch off but in doing so, lessens the amount of crushed berries. You pinch them off at the top of the cluster, leaving anywhere from 10-20 berries hanging together to be cleaned gently at home.

red cranberries in a large stainless bowl

Now, ripe highbush cranberries are lower in pectin than they are early in the season, so to make the jelly I want, I am going to have to use pectin in my jelly recipe.

I am totally ok with that.

Obviously, we know what I am going to be doing this week. Cleaning and then making these beauties into jelly.

I can taste it on my Thanksgiving turkey already.

close up of red cranberries

As with all berry or mushroom picking, make sure you know 100% what you are picking!

Luckily these are very easy to identify and hard to mix up with any other native plant, but here’s what they look like:

fresh red berries in bushes

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. lindaruble5 says

    Do you know if high-bush-cranberries grow in the south? like sanantonio,texas?

  2. lindaruble5 says

    I live in sanantonio,tx I was wondering if high-bush-cranberries also grows in sa,tx ?

  3. Brenda says

    You should check out the mushroom identification course at the Devon Botanical Garden. there are many tasty varieties of mushrooms all around us – especially this year. The good folks at the DBG will give you courage!

  4. Kevin says

    These are topping my list of things I have to get my hands on soon. I haven’t had a good haul for a year or two now. I smelled some today while picking shaggy manes, and it fed the urgency. Well done.

    • Karlynn says

      Kevin, it’s always a fluke with me. We go to Hawrelak Park? There are Saskatoons and I have nothing but a silly plastic Safeway bag. Same here, we go for a walk (where I JUST walked 2 weeks ago but didn’t notice them) and I have to use a thankfully very large Ziploc that I took popcorn as a snack in.

      I think if I went looking for them, I’d get skunked. But I go for a walk without a bucket? My 4 lbs of berries appear magically.
      I see you pick mushrooms, that is something I would love to do but I am so chicken.

  5. bruleeblog says

    Wow, now that’s what I call smart detecting! I wouldn’t have dared to pick them for fear of picking something that wasn’t actually edible.

    • Karlynn says

      Luckily there is truly nothing native to Edmonton I can think of that looks like them yet is poisonous, however, when it comes to mushrooms I am afraid if its not a morel, then I don’t pick it!

      It’s pretty much these and chokecherries to choose from on high bushes/trees in the River Valley at this time of year. Too bad I really, REALLY don’t like chokecherries!

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