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 Singing with Sylvia for Christmas

Saskatoon Berry Picking at Rhodes' U-Pick Orchard

Saskatoon Berry Picking at Rhodes' U-Pick Orchard
The kids and I spent this gorgeous July morning picking Saskatoon berries at Rhodes' Raspberries and Black Currants U-Pick operation. In around 45 minutes, the three of us picked five pounds of Saskatoon berries.

I just love Saskatoon berries! They have a sweet, nutty flavour and are high in fiber and antioxidants. Every time I go back to visit family in Oklahoma, my parents and brothers' families always request I bring back Saskatoon berry jam. {With COVID-19, they'll be waiting a long time for their next Saskatoon jam fix. 😔}
We enjoyed sampling the three different varieties of Saskatoons that Rhodes' offers, attempting to identify the subtle differences. The berries in the middle rows were plumper and juicier than I had ever experienced, but my kids perceived the smaller berries from the shorter bushes to be sweeter.
Rhodes' has around 20 deep rows of Saskatoon berry bushes that were full of berries from top to bottom -- great heights for little ones or big ones to pick! We'll be heading back again the last week of July, when I'm told black currants will be ripe and ready to pick. Their yellow, black and red raspberries also should be ready by then. After the first frost, sea buckthorn berries will be ready for harvesting.

If you prefer not to pick, Rhodes' also has frozen produce available for purchase, in addition to teas, jams and raspberry ice cream treats.
SASKMOM TIP: The picking conditions switch between sun and shade, so don't forget to apply sunscreen and bug spray! I brought a backpack with our water bottles inside, but you're never too far from the parking lot if your kids insist they need something.

We filled two ice cream pails we brought from home. However, there are containers for sale at the farm site for $2. 

After we were finished picking, we headed back into the cute little red barn to weigh our pails. Our five pounds of Saskatoon berries were $15. 

We also spent some time talking with the farm's founder Peter Rhodes. He shared his story of emigrating from England to Canada in 2002 at the age of 70. In 2004, he opened the family fruit orchard, which he and his daughter still run together. Our visit with him helped to make our lovely morning even more enjoyable. 

When we got home, I rinsed all the beautiful berries and laid them out to dry.  I reserved two cups for Saskatoon berry muffins, a cup to refrigerate for fresh snacking, and then still had two large ziplocks of berries to put into the freezer for future baking projects.  

The Rhodes' orchard is located south of Saskatoon just off Valley Road. It's open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours may vary during certain peak picking weeks. Before heading out on your own adventure, I'd recommend emailing or calling Mr. Rhodes to confirm berry availability and hours: 306-934-6748.
Is berry picking on your summer bucket list? Where do you like to pick? What are your family's favourite berry recipes? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

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