HUCKLEBERRY PICKING RAKES ARE OUT OF STOCK FOR THE SEASON!
The post-Covid SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION has now reached us, so we are NOT able to access the WIRE loop tine model of huckleberry picker/rake we’ve sold since 2008. At this moment, we are unsure when the situation will improve, according to our manufacturer.
However, for an alternative, we currently offer ONLY the hard but flexible PLASTIC tine model (in a beautiful purplish color), for less than our standard picker/rake pricing—which had not gone up in 14 years. This model takes a bit more finesse to use than the wire tine model… but is essentially identical in function (and some huckleberry hounds prefer).
SINCE THE WIRE TINE RAKES ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE, all we have to offer you are the purple plastic tined rakes as pictured below, for a $2 discount.
COMPARE THE TINES OF THE TWO RAKES BELOW
(plastic on the left, wire tines – not currently available – on the right)
As always, we do not know how the upcoming 2023 huckleberry crop will pan out, but the prolonged cold wet spring, combined with late frosts well into May, is not a good sign. We’ve not scouted or heard if spring buds were covered by snow during those frosts, but we are crossing our fingers. Other than that, we hope for more moderate summer temps than we had in 2021 and 2022. Last year’s prolonged hot, dry weather led to an extremely short, poor crop the last two years. Most value-added huckleberry producers (jam, syrup, etc) were forced to downscale operations last year, as they could not get nearly enough berries from their suppliers.
PURPLE FINGERS RULE!
How to drop up to 11 TIMES as many
HUCKLEBERRIES into your bucket
in the same HOUR-
while making FEWER gas guzzling trips
into the woods !
SECRET TOOL MAKES HUCKLEBERRY PICKING A SLAM DUNK!
I am going to share this closely guarded little secret, one that commercial wild huckleberry pickers have known for decades:
— some very simple tools, will turn wild berry picking
— especially HUCKLEBERRY picking —
into fun, instead of drudgery!
- After a COUPLE MINUTES, you can lightly shake your huckleberry rake and see a FULL cup of berries in the bottom of the “well” … try to do that picking by hand!
- If the berries are good, stay for a typical three- or four-hour huckleberry picking session, and deliver enough huckleberries to your freezer for a FULL YEAR of jam, a pie, flajacks and ice cream …without rationing (like we huckleberry hounds typically do)!
- Enjoy NEW HUCKLEBERRY RECIPES — since you will have more huckleberries to play with!
- Bragging rights for your new status as a MASTER huckleberry picker! (“Where did you find ALL THOSE HUCKLEBERRIES?!”, he or she will ask, as you swagger!)
- Save money on GAS, with fewer trips to the woods (not to mention, less wear and tear on your tires and vehicle)!
- The possibility of making some extra spending money, selling extra huckleberries at farmers markets; or to neighbors, restaurants, produce stands, and processors.
- Save money on Christmas gifts (everybody likes huckleberry goodies)! But of course, you may not give them away… you’ll make the mistake of tasting, before wrapping. And probably keep them for yourself!
- More time to pursue your favorite outdoor or indoor hobbies!
- Fewer “fumble fingers“… if you drop a lot of berries while handpicking (like I do), OR if your digit dexterity is no longer what it once was, or even if you (or someone you love) is getting arthritic… a picker is a great way to level the playing field!
I have to tell you first that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands along with other places.
The rake was a life saver allowing me to pick for a longer period of time
without much pain in my hands. I also picked three times as much!
I recommend this to anyone with arthritis in their hands to make picking berries more enjoyable
and A LOT quicker.
- Works on other ROUND berry species. This picking tool is certainly OPTIMIZED for wild huckleberry species found in the Pacific Northwest. (And works pretty well on wild currants.) But with some practice, this huckleberry tool will work on other roundies, with not quite as much advantage.
- For example, most blueberries tend to hang in clumps… makes them just a bit harder to keep some from popping out of any kind of picker (and easier to pick by hand, than huckleberries). Plus there is often a large percentage of green berries in a clump… so waiting until most of the fruits are ripe is important.
- I’ve tried the pickers on blueberries, elderberries, currants, and service berries (which are also called Saskatoon, sarvis, June, or prairie berries depending on where you life).
- With elderberries, not only are the berries in clumps, but the bushes tend to be VERY tall, so the biggest problem was raking over your head… with berries flying everywhere. Takes a little practice to make these effective.
- I have gotten VERY positive feedback about the rakes for picking cranberries and pie cherries.
- Good, but not gushing, response from blueberry pickers, “satisfactory, but not completely satisfying” is how one client said it.
- A guy in Canada tried out this huck rake on large patches of Saskatoons (aka June berries, service berries, sarvis berries, prairie berries) again, with satisfactory but not superlative results.
- But the huckleberry folks LOVE this tool. Please let me know of any successes or failures you experience with other species (e.g. cranberries) … Regardless, these tools do a FANTASTIC job with common huckleberry and bilberry species found in Idaho, Montana, California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta. Although in some regions with very small berries, for example in parts of eastern Idaho, the tool is not quite adequate… we need a tools with less space between the tines.
- And, we are also selling rakes to all Canadian provinces (primarily but not exclusively in the western areas), and even to states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Nebraska (not sure what berry they are using them on), Dakotas, and really all up and down the entire eastern seaboard, without getting any back, so somebody must be using these berry pickers successfully on different species (including and especially eastern huckleberries).
- And of course, in spite of less spectacular results, we sell a TON of these to blueberry enthusiasts.
IDAHO REAL ESTATE INVESTOR
LOVES HUCKLEBERRY RAKES!
Real Estate Investor and Huckleberry Pickin’ Fool!
“Picking huckleberries is MUCH easier with huckleberry ‘rakes’ …
plus I don’t end up with splotchy purple fingers!
“Most people can pick for 3 or 4 hours before they get tired,
and come home with maybe one — or if they are really fast — two gallons of huckleberries.
With a well designed huckleberry rake,I come home with up to ten or eleven gallons
in that same amount of time.
Even if the berries are crappy [not very thick or very big], I can still get 4 to 6 gallons.
“A huckleberry rake pays for itself, several times over, the first time you use it!
“And with practice, you can make a nice little side income during huckleberry season
(or longer if you own a freezer) — or like me, keep them all for yourself,
and a few birthday and holiday gifts to friends!
Disclaimer: Roy is an experienced huckleberry picker.
Your personal results with huckleberry rakes may vary
depending upon level of frustration tolerance, current medications,
mosquito population, and whether you remembered toilet paper!
(I know I am not very funny, but I try sooo hard!)
Below are two brief video clips (one overview and one close-up) of Roy using a huckleberry rake near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. As you can see, this is NOT hard work. Although Roy makes it look a little easier than it is – especially when you are starting out. The videos give you a feel for how to use both hands in tandem to pick most effectively. If you look close at the clips, you will see a huckleberry branch that gets bound up… Roy quickly backs it out, to avoid stripping the stem or leaves — which would of course, also end up in your bucket, and potentially scrape the bark on the stem:
Huckleberry Rakes Field Testing!
So how did we get here?
In 2007, we went out and purchased EVERY huckleberry or blueberry “rake” model we could find. And when huckleberry season rolled around, we went out and field tested all nine.
Some were heavy. Some were light. Some were works of rustic, backcountry art… tributes to the handiwork skills of rural craftspeople. Some were DANGEROUS — pointy tines, that could impale someone – seriously! Some were made from “parts” that are no longer available. Some came in one color or finish, while others came painted in choice of yellow, purple, or green. In aggregate, they ranged in price from $25 to $65 — most were in the $40 to $50 range… plus shipping and handling.
And believe it or not, one of the more interesting huckleberry rakes was not even available online! You had to mail them a check, and two or three weeks later, there it came. I had no doubt those people were honest, but doggone… best to order early!
Most rakes WERE for sale online… but for three of these “web site” models … no shopping cart! They did not take credit cards — online OR offline! Again, you called and left a message, waited for a call-back, waited again for another call-back with the shipping amount, mailed a check, and a week to ten days later, your picking tool arrived.
One welding company in eastern Washington state, reputed to make huckleberry rakes, never did returned multiple phone calls.
If you ever shopped online for a huckleberry rake prior to today, you probably know what I am talking about!
Anyway, after our field trials, where we took each picker and played around with wrist action, weight, raking efficiency, and safety, we came up with two models that were CLEARLY superior.
One is the model we are offering for sale from the links on this page. The other is actually and unfortunately, no longer for sale — and has not been for some time.
We only knew about it because a friend of mine, who is a serial huckleberry plunderer, had a couple of the picking tools in his bag of huckleberry tricks, and loaned me one for the field trials.
Apparently, this defunct design was sold for several years by an older gentleman around Spokane, Washington, at farmers markets and similar venues. The tines were made of ¼ inch welding rods, perfectly spaced, and the “well” was made from a rounded rectangular, aluminum Hormel ham can… if you are old enough to remember those. Topped with a plain handle on top, you could get from any hardware store.
(If anyone knows who this person was, please send contact information our direction, as I would like to meet him, and shake his hand, if he is still with us.)
And now, the descriptive moment you’ve been waiting for! (Please imagine hearing a drum roll, as I do not know enough about online technology to make a drum roll audio sound happen on a web page.)
THE HUCKLEBERRY PICKING TOOL SOLUTION!
Let’s go over why our huckleberry rakes BEAT OUT the rest of the competition, hands down!:
- With an extremely light weight of 14.1 ounces, the average person could pick for hours with no or little wrist soreness. Tied for lightest weight, due to construction materials and design, of all the rakes.
- The handle just feels … PERFECT! I don’t know how else to say it. ALL of the other models use a standard type of handle you might find in a hardware store… but this one just FITS your hand, comfortably, regardless of the size of your hand.
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN… you know, I am not completely sure what that means. But if you play with this tool, in the first two seconds, you know this product was MADE to encourage your wrist to make short, soft, but crisp strokes. The rakes sway backward and forward naturally, as your wrist rolls gently back and forth!
- Several of the huckleberry rakes did not offer much of a “well” or reservoir — used for holding huckleberries inside the picker, until you dump the load into a larger container. For others (including one model, where a coffee can was the primary foundation), the well was WAY too big to be practical. Huckleberries add a lot of weight – about 4 or 5 ounces per cup – and really slow down your wrist motion as the rake fills. This is the “Goldilocks” feature of THE models we offer you… the reservoir size is “Just Right!” After 2 to 4 cups of huckleberries (which doubles the weight of the tool in your hand), you are “full” and need to invert and pour into your larger “holding” container.
- We recommend an Igloo or other type of “snap lid” cooler, perfectly designed for dumping huckleberries into! Why? If you’ve picked very long, you will eventually trip and experience an “accident” walking out of the huckleberry patch. All your berries hit the ground, and then you get dirt, duff, and other materials trying to pick them up through the ground plants, not to mention squeezing and damaging them while picking them off the ground, instead of off the bush.
- Here is a video showing you how this picking system works:
STILL MORE ‘HUCKLEBERRY RAKE’ FEATURES!
- As you may have asked yourself by now… what happens to the berries already IN your huckleberry tool reservoir, when you are raking back and forth? Do the berries roll back out? Again, some of the rakes DO, and some do NOT, offer an “anti-backwash” feature. Usually this is a “mini-wall” located just a little ways behind the teeth or tines, and coming half-way up the opening into the well, and angled back to allow huckleberries to roll in… but not out. And of course, THE huckleberry rakes featured on this page, offer that cool feature.
- Pricing! A big relief…this was the LEAST EXPENSIVE model, of all the huckleberry rakes we tested. Makes our job SOOOO much easier, if we can save you money, along with the superior design!
- Rounded tines do the LEAST potential damage to huckleberry bushes! While the plants will drop leaves anyway, within a couple weeks to a couple months, after you pick… no point in ripping the leaves, or scratching the thin bark on the branch tips.
- The tines (or teeth) are PERFECTLY spaced for huckleberries, on the winning model. AND with rounded points on the tines, this was the SAFEST of all the huckleberry rake designs we tested. By far! Some of the other good designs used small diameter welding rods, which, while not dangerous, still required a little caution. Others had long, sharpened steel points… nasty!
So, we bring you THE PERFECT RAKE, eh?
Not so fast! We must be honest. One feature that some of the other picking tools came with, was a “shield” built above the front top opening of the reservoir, just in front of the handle. Sometimes when you rake, those doggone little round berries will pop into the air a bit, and fly right over the top of your picker. Annoying as all get out! Prepare to turn the air around you a bit blue, as you voice your displeasure!
Our model does not offer this feature, we apologize. For the models that did offer a shield, most of those wayward huckleberries would hit the shield, and roll down into the well. Since our model does not come with a shield, it does behoove you to rake with the picker a bit more slowly… which is a GOOD THING. You are less likely to damage the huckleberry bush!
(But, if you want one of those four-pound coffee-can picking rakes – WITH a shield – (but no anti-backwash feature) that will hold another whoppin’ four pounds of huckleberries, contact us and we will send you their direction. But get out your checkbook — kinda pricey! And if you can handle that rake for three hours of picking, remind me to NOT shake your hand…)
So, our red rake wins. But it’s not perfect, nothing is. But we are absolutely SURE we discovered, and are making available to you, the BEST huckleberry picking solution on planet earth (not even counting the favorable pricing)… or we will cheerfully refund your money, no questions asked!
What Do Past Customers Say About the HUCKLEBERRY RAKE?
Thank you for your prompt response to my order!
I tested your (huckleberry rake) product and found it everything you said it would be.
We bumped into one of our neighbors at the post officeand told him how well the rake works.
[He] wanted the web address, so I think you will be getting another order shortly.
I am looking forward to reviewing your demo videos, but I already picked a gallon of huckleberries
on my first outing.
George (and ViAnne) Compton
Real Estate Broker
They (the rakes) are awesome!!
Everybody loves them!
My sister-in-law loaned hers to a neighbor and then all the other neighbors borrowed it.
I’m sure you will be getting more orders.
I also showed it to my local nursery and he is interested in ordering for next year’s season….”
Little River, California
Owner, Shibui Sculpture Garden
I purchased your rake last week and headed up behind Wallace, Idaho to do some picking.
I recommend this (huckleberry rake) to anyone …
to make picking berries more enjoyable and A LOT quicker.
Plus it does no damage to the bush! You have perfected this product ten fold. Thank you!
Just purchased a rake from you a week ago.
It works great, a little more leaves and sticks, but way more berries!
I really am getting3-4 times the amount of berries in the same time frame as before.
Thanks for a good product!
Sussex, New Jersey
A great big THANK YOU!!!
I ordered my two huckleberry rakes (late) Friday they were shipped Saturday,
and I got them today, Monday!
Awesome!!!! I can still use them on this year’s crop!
Thank you so very much for the expedited service. Greatly appreciated!
3The HUCKLEBERRY RAKE special offer — here is what you get:
At $22.95 per rake, you are getting the lowest price huckleberry picking tool among the nine we tested. And we are holding the 2008 price steady for this year … next year, the price may go up (the prices we pay to the manufacturer have gone up). At $23, that’s about what a HALF GALLON (or less) of huckleberries typically cost on Craiglist, even during picking season…IF you can even find any to buy! There is a short learning curve of 10 minutes to an hour to use the tool effectively, but you will easily recover the cost of your rake in the FIRST HOUR OR TWO OF PICKING… even if you are a newbie! You can only pick so long during a day in the woods, and by doubling, tripling (or more) your productivity, you put more purple gold in your freezer or tummy.
We ship via Priority Mail, and shipments usually go out within one business day during huckleberry season (or we will contact you), so your rakes are in hand quickly. Note that in the past two or three years, with cutbacks in the US Postal Service, the movement of packages has slowed considerably throughout the system. Priority Mail from our location in North Central Idaho, is now typically one or two days (formerly always one day) to Idaho locations north of Riggins, and to eastern Washington state. Two to three days shipping to southwestern Idaho, to parts of the Pacific Northwest, and to random populated areas with good postal route connections. Three to four days for most other US locations, including eastern Idaho and just across the pass to Montana. To be safe, please add a day to these estimates, and number of days does not include Sundays. But we will always do the best we can! (Additional note, orders of more than six rakes may be sent via FedEx Ground…let us know if you have a preference on larger orders!) Orders to Canada actually sped up in the past year or two, and usually arrive in a week, although not guaranteed. And 1 to 2 weeks to the United Kingdom or Europe in general. Note to avoid customs charges, all foreign shipments are limited to three rakes per parcel (4 pound total package weight). To send more, you will need to set up multiple orders and/or call us for specifics.
I like how prompt you are in shipping; it makes a lot of difference to me!
(Shipments to Idaho addresses… do not forget — 6% sales tax will be added to the total; the governor gets cranky if we don’t collect.)
$9.95 to Idaho and parts of neighboring states of Montana, Washington, and Oregon. To other states, the price slowly rises to 10.95 and then up to a maximum of $15.95 to the lower 48, or $19.95 to Alaska or Hawaii… (sorry, the Post Office charges more for longer distances, so we adjusted for that!)
But, since we ship flat rate, there is no extra charge on your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (or more) rakes to the same shipping address! Outfit your spouse or even the entire family, along with your camping, fishing, or hunting buddies.
Shipping has gone up a lot in the last couple years, but we are holding steady with flat rate (we often lose money on shipping, if you order four or more in one shipment).
Or introduce newbies to the art and sport of huckleberry picking! (HAH! Almost as good as snipe hunting!)
(PS International Priority Mail shipping is flat rate $52 to Canada, … for up to three rakes max per international shipment. Paperwork gets voluminous, and customs fees go up significantly on international shipments over four pounds. International orders over three rakes are sent in additional parcels, and you will be billed for additional shipping.)
We take all four major credit cards, via secure server. You have a choice of using our merchant services provider or PayPal for your purchase.
AND, for a limited time, we are offering the following bonuses:
- A FREE huckleberry lip balm (one for each rake!) with our compliments to protect your lips while out picking in the hot, dry weather! (Or, it makes a great gift for your spouse… aren’t you the thoughtful one!)
- One FREE “huckleberry pie” with recipe postcard for EACH ORDER!
PLUS: Our absolute, no wiggle room, unconditional,
swear with our hand on a huckleberry cookbook,
When your huckleberry rake arrives, go online and read our information, watch the demo videos, and go out and give it a whirl! If you do not feel you recovered your cost for this tool, TIMES TWO, with the EXTRA huckleberries you picked on your first outing, send it back, and we will immediately refund your original investment (including shipping!).
PS We used to brag that among hundreds of customers, we had YET to get EVEN ONE refund request on our unconditional guarantee! (Note that is not a challenge…;-) However, all good things come to an end. In June 2009 someone from Texas actually did send back their rakes … in mint condition, at which time we cheerfully refunded their original invoice in full. They tried them on blueberries, which ripen in clumps, and felt they got too many green berries, so went back to hand picking. This is always a problem when using a rake or picking device… you need to wait until most of the little fruits are ripe, as the tines do not discriminate based on color.
In July of 2009, we also got an order back from eastern Idaho, a gentleman with fast fingers who simply preferred picking berries by hand, and was in no hurry to fill his buckets. Again, the credit card charge was immediately reversed in full.
(Note that both of the above got to keep their lip balms.)
In August of 2010, we got back two WELL USED rakes from Montana, AFTER the end of huck season, with no explanation, but cheerfully refunded in full.
And in September 2011, someone from Kalispell, Montana returned a wire tine rake, and kept a plastic tine model . We re-imbursed the full price on the metal model, plus half of the shipping. They emailed us a very warm thank you!
Thank you for your assistance with this refund.
May God bless you ~ Susan Rodwick
I especially want to mention that many people are concerned when they order, that the rakes will damage the plants. There are a lot of “urban myths” out there about how these rakes are the kiss of death. Some people even get livid and demeaning about the issue. I can assure you of several things:
- I would NOT be selling these if they damaged my beloved huckleberries!
- Commercial blueberry growers have used rakes for decades… if they damaged the plants, do you think they would keep using them?
- Huckleberries grow ONLY on the current years growth… the stems on a huckleberry are extremely thin at the tips. The full 3/16 inch spacing between tines (look at a ruler) provide ample space for these tips to slide through, while all but the tiniest huckleberries are popped into the tool.
- Not a single person who was concerned about damage to the plants has returned a rake… do the math!
- Rakes in North America were invented by Native Americans, who make them out of carved wood, or the backbone and one rib cage of a salmon or steelhead. These people consider huckleberries to be a sacred cultural resource… they are not going to do something that diminishes the crop.
- I have YET to meet a single person who HAS ACTUALLY USED A HUCKLEBERRY RAKE, who says they damage plants! But you will run across that self-righteous attitude, periodically. I guess this is a rural myth, not an urban legend.
Note that often, people order one tool to start, then after field testing, come back for additional tools for a spouse, extended family, friends, social groups – for example a large family and a church group, both ordered a full case of 12!
During our first year offering these specialty instruments, we found they are VERY popular as holiday and birthday gifts! If there is a huckleberry fanatic on your gift list, consider gifting something out of the ordinary, with tremendous utilitarian value — a huckleberry rake. WE DROP SHIP DIRECT TO YOUR GIFT RECIPIENT WITH A FREE GIFT NOTE CARD WITH YOUR NAME, FOR NO EXTRA CHARGE! … just fill out the message you want on the card, in the comments or special instructions section, with a TO: and FROM:, and we will do the rest! (Fortunately, my wife’s handwriting is better than mine… DO NOT BE ALARMED!)
WHEN SENDING A RAKE AS A GIFT, just remember to put YOUR name and CREDIT CARD BILLING statement address in the BILLING address section, AND your lucky gift recipient’s postal address in the SHIPPING address section.
As I update the site, huckleberry season is fast approaching. Which we expect to be very good!
PS Your crop reports appreciated! Go to the Contact page, and let us know!
Get a rake and take advantage of the season which is coming on fast… the thicker the berries, the higher the multiple of berries you get with rakes, over hand picking. Click on the link below and order now! PS Rake supplies MAY BE limited! The supply often runs out and gets back-ordered during the peak of the season… especially with heavy crops like we are currently expecting this year.
~Malcolm & Sandy
Gourmet Innovations LLC
PS SPECIAL BONUS! For everyone who buys a huckleberry rake online, we now offer FREE access to the International WILD HUCKLEBERRY Association Facebook Group! Share recipes, and photos of your huckleberries and huckleberry picking adventures. Get reviews of huckleberry cookbooks, and discounts on gourmet huckleberry goodies and jam making supplies… even discover secrets about the history and ecology of huckleberries (unknown facts that may help you find more huckleberries on your next outing!) Also, articles with tips and tactics on cleaning, and making huckleberry jam and syrup. Even discover the secret of how to GROW huckleberries (yes, it CAN be done) — the University of Idaho perfected this technique years ago, and offers a short (and free!) PDF publication on this secret!
Click NOW on the link below, to order your HUCKLEBERRY RAKES!