Abundant huckleberry season drives down prices


KALISPELL, Mont. - It's hard to describe the taste of a huckleberry, but locals know just how good they are.

"It's an explosive, powerful flavor, a little bit more powerful than a blueberry. They're called purple gold for a reason," said Teri Anderson of the Apple Barrel in Kalispell.

She says that this years huckleberry season is everything they could have asked for.

"There are so many pickers out there because the berries are in such an abundance that they're just constantly coming in, trying to sell them by the gallon," said Anderson.

They blame the good weather for all the berries. And say that overall the season is great so far. But there is also a downside. We spoke with local produce stores and many told us that the season is so good that they've had to turn away pickers trying to sell their berries.

"There's so many pickers we're having to turn 10 to 15 people a day away, we can't keep up with buying them," said Anderson.

And the Apple Barrel isn't the only retailer feeling the heat of a plentiful season.

"It's been very abundant, we've had a lot of huckleberries coming in," said Sheri Millward.

Millward works just down the road at Glacier Produce and says that the berries are coming in so fast that they can't keep up with it.

"Thats the only thing that is troubling. When they come in, we have to bag them, you know get them prepared to sell and it's hard when they're all coming in at once," said Millward.

And more berries means pickers are paid less, but that also means retail price is lower for customers.

But with such a short season, it is critical to buy what you can early before the crop runs out.