As we set foot into the dense emerald forest of Southwest Finland that could easily be mistaken for an enchanted forest from folklore, we felt an overwhelming sense of wonder. The tall trees seemed to embrace us in a way that the only thing we could see were trees in all directions. This was our very first time going berry picking together in Finland, and little did we know how much we would enjoy the experience.
In Finland, berry picking is not just a hobby. It is a cherished tradition ingrained in their culture for centuries. One fascinating aspect of berry picking that makes it easily accessible to all is "everyman's right”. This law grants everyone the right to access and enjoy nature, including berry picking in vast forests, as long as nature is not harmed in the process.
With the guidance of our Finnish friends, we quickly learned that certain areas of the forest were more abundant in berries than others. Blueberries tend to thrive in open places with plenty of sunlight, such as clearings and edges of the forest. These little berries love the acidic soil, which is often found around mossy patches and under the shade of pine trees.
The timing of our berry picking adventure was crucial. Blueberries are in their prime during the late summer months, typically from late July to early September. Summertime is popular for berry picking, as the forests come alive with vibrant hues of red, blue and purple.
For those who are interested in trying berry picking for the first time, we have a few pieces of advice to share. Firstly, be sure to check the local regulations and guidelines related to everyman's right, as certain areas may have specific rules or restrictions for berry picking. Always respect nature, wildlife, and other people who may be enjoying the forest alongside you.
Secondly, dress appropriately for spending time in the forest. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes that can handle uneven terrain and mud. Also, don't forget to pack a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Lastly, but importantly, remember to bring a basket or container to collect your berries. In addition, if you’re able to get hold of a berry picker device that also helps to speed up the picking process.
Berry picking in the forests of Southwest Finland was an adventure we will cherish. The peacefulness of being in nature, the abundance of berries, and having access to such nutritious fruit without cost were priceless. We're eagerly awaiting our next trip to the forest, ready with our buckets to soak in the beauty of nature and gather its bounties once more.