Judges Kim Richter, Lovena Morton and Niall McGarvey sampled approximately 30 different dishes to choose the winners of the 2019 Blackberry Bake-off. (Langley Advance Times files)

Judges Kim Richter, Lovena Morton and Niall McGarvey sampled approximately 30 different dishes to choose the winners of the 2019 Blackberry Bake-off. (Langley Advance Times files)

Who got the best blackberry recipe? LEPS wants to know

Don’t forget to destroy the bushes of the invasive plant, reminds organizers

Everyone is welcome to enter a blackberry treat to share at the annual Blackberry Bake-off.

While sharing is good, a little more effort can go a long way in making the yearly event successful, suggested Alexandra Falconer, garden programs coordinator at Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS).

The organizers hope that when people pick their blackberries, they destroy the bushes or at least knock ithem back enough that it is managed and not spreading because blackberries are an invasive species.

RELATED: Langley students dig in to clear invasive blackberries

To raise awareness about the impact of the Himalayan blackberry on the environment and to enjoy its fruit, LEPS introduced the bake-off in 2001. After being held virtually in the past two years, the contest is returning to Langley Demonstration Garden on Thursday, Aug. 25.

“We are thrilled to be able to host this popular event again. It’s great to welcome the community back to this popular yearly event after having a two-year break,” Falconer said.

To participate in the contest, attendees enter their favourite blackberry recipes. LEPS has already received a “great” array of dishes, but blackberry pie, blackberry strudel and blackberry monkey bread are some of Falconer’s personal favourites.

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

“While the fruit is delicious, the plant itself takes over natural vegetation and threatens local biodiversity,” Falconer explained.

She added that LEPS is committed to helping spread awareness about the impact this overly successful plant has on the environment.

READ MORE: Langley environmental group to engage the community of gardeners

“Himalayan blackberry vines spread rapidly and without adequate maintenance, can overtake areas quickly ” she noted.

Those interested in participating can email garden@leps.bc.ca for a list of rules. The three-hour-long event starts at noon. For more information, people can visit leps.bc.ca.

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

A panel of judges tastes each of the submissions and chooses winners in various categories, but the public will also vote on their favourites.

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Is there more to the story? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

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