Berry Picking

 

Did you know that approximately 500 million kg of berries grow in the Finland’s forests every year? Well that’s nothing in comparison to the two billion kg of mushrooms you can find.  Thanks to Finland’s “Everyman’s right”, everyone can walk freely through the forests and countryside and pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers. Take advantage of what the forest has to offer by venturing outdoors to see what you can find. The fun continues once you come back to your cottage and must prepare and preserve your goodies so that you can take home with you at the end of your stay.

 

Explore the forest

There are over 50 species of berries and 500 kinds of mushrooms you can find in the Finnish forest. Be careful though, not all of them are edible so its important to know what it is that you are picking. Here is a quick look at some of the most common berries and mushrooms you may find in the forests close to your rented cottage.

Wild strawberry
Wild strawberries are a delicacy of the Finnish forest as it is rare that you will find them in large amounts. They look quite similar to the cultivated strawberries you would be used to except they are much smaller, and some would say, tastier. These berries grow in June.

Bilberry
Bilberries are native to Europe and tend to cover the Finnish forests from early July to late August. They are similar to the cultivated blueberry although are smaller in size and darker in colour. Bilberries are a favourite when it comes to making pie, juice and jam.

Lingonberry
The lingonberry is a tart and juicy berry that is high in pectin and citric acids.  Its acidic properties help in keeping the berry from fermenting which means that they keep well into the Finnish winter without any preservatives. They are best picked from early September to mid-October.

Yellow Chanterelle
The yellow chantarelle is easy to spot in the forest with its distinctive colour. They can be found mainly near birch or pine and although the season varies, can often be picked as early as July and until mid-October. Once cleaned and cooked they can be stored or used for soups, sauces, pies or as accompaniment to most other dishes.

Trumpet Chanterelle
Is similar to the yellow variety although due to its darker colour, can be more difficult to find in the forest. Luckily though, if you do happen to find some they often grow in close proximity to each other so take a look around because you will likely be able to find more. Trumpet Chanterelles can be picked from September to October.

Checklist

Some things to bring with you if you are planning on going berry and mushroom picking

  • Long pants and shirt
  • A brightly coloured hat (important to protect you from bugs and so that you can be easily seen by hunters in the fall)
  • A mosquito jacket
  • Rubber boots
  • A berry picker (a scoop device with prongs on the end)
  • A bucket with a lid (or basket for mushrooms)
  • A special knife for mushroom pickers that has a brush on one end
  • A small book on mushrooms to carry with you
  • Some jars or containers for you to take your mushrooms and berries home

Picture Gallery