Visitors gobbled up tasty invaders Thursday at the Langley Demonstration Garden.
The purpose behind the annual Blackberry Bake-Off and Open House was to raise awareness of the impact that Himalayan blackberries have on the environment, and to enjoy their fruit.
“Not only is the Blackberry Bake-Off a fun event and a tradition people look forward to each year, it is an opportunity to help the environment,” Langley Demonstration Garden coordinator Emily Lorenz said, during the lead-up to the event.
“Blackberries are a highly invasive species that quickly blanket vast areas, take over natural vegetation, and threaten local biodiversity. Eating as many of the seeds as possible will help prevent them from spreading.”
During the free, all-ages event at the garden, located in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum, there was live music, displays, activities and games, a kids’ craft corner, and a locally-sourced barbecue.
Guests will also have a chance to taste the star attractions: culinary creations from desserts to entrees, made with blackberries, created by contestants in the Blackberry Bake-Off.
The top three finalists from the bake-off were:
Winner: Dee Stead
2nd place: Jane Spearing
3rd place: Dracaena Kelpin
The friendly competition also fits well with Langley’s Eat Local campaign, which celebrates farmers and food producers in Langley and the Fraser Valley, and encourages residents to choose food that is grown and produced within the community whenever possible.
“In case you needed even more of an incentive, blackberries are delicious, versatile, and packed with nutrients,” Lorenz said.