Who got the best blackberry recipe? LEPS wants to know

Everyone is invited to grab a blackberry treat to share at the annual Blackberry Bake-off.

While sharing is a good thing, a little extra effort can go a long way to making the annual event a success, suggested Alexandra Falconer, gardening programs coordinator at the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS).

Organizers hope that when people pick their blackberries, they destroy the bushes or at least push them back enough for them to be managed and not spread because blackberries are an invasive species.

To raise awareness of the impact of the Himalayan blackberry on the environment and to enjoy its fruits, LEPS introduced the bake-off in 2001. After being held virtually for the past two years, the competition is return to Langley Demonstration Garden on Thursday 8 August 25.

“We are delighted to be able to organize this popular event again. It’s great to welcome the community back to this popular annual event after a two-year hiatus,” said Falconer.

To enter the contest, participants enter their favorite blackberry recipes. LEPS has already received a “great” lineup of dishes, but blackberry pie, blackberry strudel, and blackberry monkey bread are some of Falconer’s favorite dishes.

With a focus on the invasive plant, LEPS team members will talk about its origin and how it became a highly invasive species.

“Although the fruit is delicious, the plant itself is taking over the natural vegetation and threatening local biodiversity,” Falconer explained.

She added that LEPS is committed to helping raise awareness of the impact of this overly successful factory on the environment.

“Himalayan blackberry vines spread quickly and without proper maintenance, can quickly overtake regions,” she noted.

Those interested in participating can email [email protected] for a list of rules. The three-hour event begins at noon. For more information, people can visit leps.bc.ca.

The Langley Demonstration Garden is in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum on the north side of the 21200 block of the Fraser Highway. There’s ample parking, and the day includes an on-site barbecue, live entertainment, kids’ activities, and more.

A panel of judges taste each of the submissions and choose the winners in different categories, but the public will also vote for their favorites.

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