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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Workshop explores turning huckleberries into cash crop

Betsy Z. Russell Staff writer

An array of experts will speak at what’s being touted as “the world’s first workshop on improving your favorite huckleberry patch and maybe making a little money in the process.”

The workshop, set for Friday in Elk River, Idaho, is for people who want to “get into the berry-picking or forest-gathering business” to help fill a growing demand for huckleberries from restaurants and gourmet food companies, said Malcolm Dell, owner of Tastes of Idaho and a workshop organizer.

While research is progressing on domesticating the wild huckleberry, many businesses need reliable ways now to get more of the wild berries. That’s what various techniques for enhancing natural berry stands allow.

Dan Barney, a University of Idaho horticulture professor and leading huckleberry researcher, will be the lead presenter. Other speakers will include representatives of state and federal agencies, private forest landowners, the UI sustainable agriculture program and Washington State University Cooperative Extension.

Opportunities in value-added gourmet products, developing a direct-marketing berry business and practices for dramatically improving production of wild huckleberry stands will be discussed.

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