Sunday, 7 August 2011

Berry story

There has been news about how Finnish people just let the berries rot in the forests instead of picking them. Estimated 90% of the berries are not picked, although they're VERY healthy and full of vitamins and antioxidants. They're really so called super foods!

We have lots of different berries in Finland and while I was in Kuopio, I picked raspberries and blueberries from the forest and blackcurrants from my mom's yard. Later in the autumn it's going to be time for lingonberries and cloudberries.

Raspberries can be found from thickets, where it's rather difficult to move around. But blueberries grow in many kinds of forests and it's easier to pick them, just that your back might be hurting the next day :)

For the blueberries we (me, mom, Seppo) went to an island accessible only by boat.

Of course we wore the most fashionable clothes we could find! Notice our beltbags and rubber boots.

It took about 20 minutes to reach the island. It was a windy day, so the waves were almost big (scary!) but there were no mosquitos at all in the forest (nice!).

We found a place for the boat and Seppo tied the ropes tightly on the trees, so that we would be able to go home, too.

Earlier I said that picking blueberries is easy. True, usually it is, but this time we chose an island where we had to climb a lot to get to the blueberry lands. It was good balance training, especially when we came down with our full buckets.

So blue! So big! So free! This year the berries are very big and juicy and there are lots of them. In Finland everyone is entitled to pick forest berries anywhere for free but still most of the berries are not picked.

The views from the island were amazing. Combined with the soothing sound of wind going through the leaves of trees and crispy air, it felt very relaxing to be in the middle of nowhere :)

I picked about 3 litres of blueberries with my bare hands (mom and Seppo used "poimuri", kind of tool for picking berries) because I like to feel the berries and bushes. And when we came back, I made this.

Blueberry milk! The best dessert from my childhood.

Today I'm going to the forest again to pick some berries with Yi-Te Lai. Our Taiwanese-Finnish group isn't afraid of the promised rain for today!

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