Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:23
See the wood for the trees
Text: Anni Jyrinki Photos: Milan Kolarovic
Even though Oulu is the biggest city in the Northern Finland, you can find Finnish nature at its best quite near the city
Just a few kilometres from the city centre it begins – the wild forest. Excursion to the nature is something that all of us should do during autumn when the autumn colours are picturesque and berries are waiting to be picked.
Almost in every forest you can find at least blueberries and lingon berries. In Finland we all have a right to pick berries and mushrooms in any forest, despite who owns the land. This permission is called everyman’s right and it belongs also to foreigners.
Right to pick and enjoy
Finland's legal concept of everyman's right gives everyone a chance to enjoy outdoor activities and the freedom of the country's vast forests and fells as well as many lakes and rivers. This means that everyone is basically entitled to walk, ski, cycle or ride freely in the countryside, as long as this does not cause harm to property or nature.
So, you can freely pick berries, mushrooms and flowers from nature, if they aren’t protected species, despite of the ownership of the land.
Berries are extremely healthy. They have a huge amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Berries also last out well in the freezer, so you can enjoy their taste throughout the winter time. Different kinds of recipes what to cook or bake from berries you can find for example on the internet and cook books.
Berries are at their best when they are fresh. But there is no other treat like a blueberry pie or whipped porridge made from lingon berries.
Other nature’s delicacies are mushrooms. But some of them are highly poisonous. Be sure that you are familiar with them before picking them. Safe and eatable mushrooms are fore example boletus mushrooms, russulas and rufous milkcaps. But be aware of death cups and web caps!
Probably the best – or the most amusing – way to learn more about mushrooms is when you go to forest with someone who knows mushrooms very well. Also cooking is fun with a friend and together you can prepare mushroom soups, salads and sauces. Or maybe you wish to preserve mushrooms for the winter?
Go on, use your privilege
In the autumn forests offer a great chance for hiking and camping. Take few friends and a lunch box and have a nice picnic in the open air.
But remember not to disturb other wanderers or animals. Set your camp up in a reasonable distance from houses and always take your waste with you, away from the nature.
You can find good places to pick berries from the map to the nearest hiking routes. But the best way to find berries and mushrooms is much simpler. Just go out, find the nearest forest and look down to the ground. See a blueberry? Pick it up and taste.
Simple blueberry pie
- 150 g margarine
- 1,5 dl sugar
- 3 dl wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 100 g margarine
- 1,5 dl sugar
- 2,5 dl wheat flour
- 400 g blueberries
Mix sugar and margarine together. Add other ingredients and make a smooth paste. Butter a mould and spread the paste to it. Fell blueberries on the paste. Then make a crumbled paste: Pluck margarine, sugar and flour together as a crumbly mixture and strew to the blueberries. Bake in the 200 centigrade, about 30 minutes.