The Blackberry Bake-off featured the food contest as well as live music, a barbecue, kids crafts, and more. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley cooking contest fights invasive plant one berry at a time

The annual Blackberry Bake-off uses food to spotlight the invasive Himalayan blackberry

The annual Blackberry Bake-off proved once again this year how versatile the plump tasty berries are but also helped educate people about the problems they can cause.

The bake-off is a fun way to get people thinking about the invasive Himalayan blackberry which crowds out local vegetation.

The event is also a casual family-oriented gathering that included tastings of almost 30 dishes entered in the bake-off, live music, kids crafts, a barbecue lunch by the Nicomekl Enhancement Society, and an open house of the Langley Demonstration Garden.

And since it was a bake-0ff, there was judging of the submitted culinary creations and prizes.

First: Nicola Van Der Laars and Hazel Hackault (mother and daughter) with a toasted rosemary blackberry almond tart

Second: Carol Osbourne with blackberry lemon bar

Third: Darlene Shirwin with blackberry maple jam

People’s Choice: Pam Totten-Nguyen with a blackberry white chocolate bread pudding

[Story continues below video]

The garden and the event are overseen by the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) which also has community garden plots on the site in the 21200 block of Fraser Highway.

LEPS is an environmental group funded by the Township and City. In addition to hosting events such as the bake-off, it offers stewardship programs, liaises with other local groups on environmental issues, and offers programs for all ages.

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The Nicomekl Enhancement Society returned to the Blackberry Bake-off again this year to offer up a barbecue lunch. Volunteers such as Bob Knudson and John Hewitt were on the grill. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

The Blackberry Bake-off was held at the Langley Demonstration Garden which includes community garden plots, a picnic shelter, a working garden to showcase eco-friendly gardening methods, benches, and trails. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times

The tray of blackberry tarts caught the eye of judge Lovena Morton. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Roland Hackault, with his mom, Nicola Van Der Laars, tried out the crafts during the Blackberry Bake-off on Thursday. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

People were able to sample four dishes from the approximately 30 entered in this year’s contest. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Melia Romas-Rincaryk and Sandra MacLean enjoyed not only the blackberry dishes but the other activities such as facepainting. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Township Councillor Kim Richter, acting mayor at present, was one of the judges and samples about 30 different blackberry dishes. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

People were able to sample four dishes from the approximately 30 entered in this year’s contest. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Several hundred people, and a few four-legged friends, attend the annual Blackberry Bake-off Thursday. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

LEPS provided recycling and composting resources at the annual Blackberry Bake-off on Aug. 22. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Hazel Hackault, four and a half, picked out a ribbon for her bookmark. LEPS makes the ribbons from cut-up T-shirts. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

The Blackberry Bake-Off was Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Langley Demonstration Garden. (Langley Township photo)

The Blackberry Bake-Off was Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Langley Demonstration Garden. (Langley Township photo)

The Blackberry Bake-Off was Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Langley Demonstration Garden. (Langley Township photo)

The Blackberry Bake-Off was Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Langley Demonstration Garden. (Langley Township photo)

The Blackberry Bake-Off was Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Langley Demonstration Garden. (Langley Township photo)

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