Forests are full of allsorts

Posted: August 19, 2013 in This & That
Tags: , ,

It’s that time of year again when I go to the woods to pick berries. So far I’ve picked crowberries and blueberries (and raspberries in the garden). Blueberries are on the left, crowberries on the right in the picture below. Crowberries grow in great quantities only in the north of Finland. The southern variety only grows here and there and would drive anyone crazy trying to pick them. You’d probably go back in time before you even get a cup full of them. It’s a different story up here. There’s loads of them and they practically pick themselves – all you need to do is turn up in the woods.

Blueberries and crowberries

Lingonberries are not quite ripe yet – it’ll take a week or so yet. They look all nice and red but they are slightly white on the dark side of the berry. It seems to be a good year for lingonberries. There’s loads of them and they are HUGE. Can’t wait for them to get ready for picking.


Blueberries are slightly messier to pick. At this time of year many Finns have purple fingers. The dye doesn’t come off completely in the wash so the fingers stay purple for a few days. Crowberries, in the bucket I’m holding here, don’t make a mess at all. They are harder and very quick to pick and they never break in your fingers. They are, however, not very high in vitamins at all but instead they are very high in antioxidants and a good source of fibre. They are usually used together with blueberries to make jams or juice but I like them as they are. They are nice with müsli or porridge in the morning. Blueberries are best with vanilla ice cream. Yummy! However, most of them will go down with my breakfast during the winter months.


These are crowberries. They grow on very low needle-like shrubs. If you are not careful when picking crowberries, the forest gnomes will bite your fingers. Seriously. I caught one in the picture (see below)!!

Well okay, maybe it’s not a gnome but the yoghurt man from the yoghurt bucket I used for picking the berries. I didn’t mean to get the bucket into the picture but when I saw it I couldn’t stop laughing. It really does look like a gnome of sorts.


  1. Lynn Anderson says:

    Nom a nom a nom. Delicious. How would anyone tell the difference with your usually ink-stained hands anyway 🙂 Lynn xx

    • Sari says:

      Hehe, you’re right Lynn. No one will notice the difference. In fact, I was thinking that Ranger’s alcohol ink has a colour very similar to what blueberries leave on my fingers 🙂

  2. Marion says:

    When I was a small child living in Sheffield, we would pick Bilberries, which I am told are related to the Blueberry, growing on acid soil. The bilberry is much smaller, sour and juicier and make the most fantastic pies. They grow on very low spikey bushes and take an age to pick many.
    Last year I was at a country fair here in NI and came across a man selling frozen bilberries, he was surprised that I knew what they were and asked if I was from Sheffield or North Derbyshire as that is the only place you would find them. \needless to say, I bought some and had them on my scone with clotted cream, wonderful :o)

    • Sari says:

      I think (and I did check in Wikipedia) that we are both talking about bilberries. It’s just that everyone in this country talks about blueberries, although technically they are bilberries. If your bilberries are not exactly the same as mine, then at least they are very closely related.

      I had no idea that bilberries would only grow in Sheffield and North Derbyshire. I didn’t live million miles from those places and I never knew!! If I ever come to NI towards the end of summer, I promise to bring you a bucket-full of fresh bilberries! These would be the special midnight sun varieties! 🙂

  3. […] Blog * Ancient Rivers… | Lady Budd * Painting of the Week – August 9, 2013 | Ethel Hills * Forests are full of allsorts | Arctic […]

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