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      Thimbleberries; as good as gold?

      Thimbleberries are tart red berries that flourish throughout the U.P., and if you live in this area, you've probably seen them growing along the roadside.Thimbleberry season lasts three to four weeks, and one of the most experienced thimbleberry pickers is Barbara Perreault. She has been picking the tasty berries for the past 50 years."Well, when they get really ripe and ready to pick off, you pick them off with your finger like a little thimble. But they're real hollow inside, and they go instantly flat, and they're the only berry you have to really pick in a pail," said Perrault.One of the best places to find thimbleberries is the woods near a stream."I've been down there in Ripley. I have picked in Dollar Bay, and then I go to Keweenaw. I picked at what I call Lake Medora," Perreault said.The deeper the color, the riper the berry.So what do you do once you collect all those thimbleberries? You could eat them or you could turn them into jam, which Barb calls Michigan's gold."Up here, of course, it's the most expensive jam, but it's only grown up here, and that's why I say the Keweenaw's noted for their thimbleberries, so I call it Michigan gold. I always have," Perreault said.And that jam can be found inside Barb's store where she sells her homemade thimbleberry jam.There's still a little bit of time left to pick thimbleberries, especially near Copper Harbor, or you could just settle for some of Barb's tasty thimbleberry jam.

      If youâ??d like some, you can visit her shop at 26795 Mine St, Calumet, MI 49913 or you can call her (906) 337-3634 to place an order.