Fall, that beautiful time of the year, when you can find Nordic nature full of mushrooms and forest berries. For us in NORD-T it means we need to prepare for the winter- as this is the last chance to fill our stocks with raw material for the blends. Our supply chain is working hard until the first frost comes!
Foraging for an individual is easy due to “freedom to roam” rights in Finland (or also known as ‘Everyman’s Rights’). Freedom to roam allows everyone to enjoy the forests, lakes, fields and parks anywhere in Finland and, most importantly, completely free of charge. This includes the right to collect wild berries and mushrooms. With freedom to roam comes also great responsibilities; that is, an obligation not to harm, disturb, litter, nor to damage wildlife or crops. We, as a company, always ask for permission and work together with forest owners for collection.
Berries, I can see berries!
Yes, Finnish forest is full of edible berries that can be collected and turned into juices, jams, pies and other delicacies. We have collected recipes here for you to try out.
Most common autumn berries and when to pick them:
Crowberry- from end of July until the first snow fall.
Lingonberry- from September until end of October. You can taste it in BEAR HUG.
Cranberry- from end of September until the first snow fall.
Sea buckthorn- starts in October, after first frost nights and usually last a few weeks. Taste it in POLAR NIGHT CAP.
Rowanberry- picked after the first frost and until snowfall.
This season, we’d like to introduce you better to rowan berry and sea buckthorn.
Rowanberries are typically collected after the first frost. The berries contain twice as much vitamin-C as oranges, so it is a true superberry! There are big differences between the taste of berries in different trees. Some can be too bitter and others are milder and tastier. Easiest way to find out which one to pick, is to taste one berry before collecting the rest. Rowanberries can be used to jellies, jams and juices.
In folk tradition the amount of berries in a rowan tree was used to predict the weather. If there are a lot of berries, then the winter will be cold, as it was thought that nature was making sure there will be enough food available for birds that do not migrate.
In Finland, sea buckthorn grows mainly on rocky seaside beaches. It is considered as the nature’s own pioneer plant; it is the first plants to habit a plain and bare land, like the ones found on sea-rising land areas. And sea bukthorn is very modest, it does not require much from it’s habitat; it can successfully thrive on nutrient-scarce sand as in a rich soil of a garden.
Sea buckthorn is thought to have many health benefits due to its high vitamin-C (most of all Nordic berries) and vitamin-E content. For example it has been researched that sea buckthorn helps to prevent heart and cardiovascular diseases.
Taste the sea buckthorn in our Polar Night Cap blend.
Springing up like mushrooms after the rain
Even though we do not serve tea blends with mushrooms, we are often spending our time picking them. Mushroom picking reminds us a lot of treasure hunting. We walk in the forest scanning for the right type of soil where we know the mushrooms prosper- following a scent of moist, fungus smell. Our eyes look for signs of small mushroom hats pushing through the moss. And then, when we see the one we have been looking for, it really feels we’ve found the chest at the end of the rainbow. And soon the basket is filled with mushrooms in all sizes and colors.
New to mushroom picking? Start with the ones easy to recognize and ask for help with seasoned mushroom pickers. You can also identify mushrooms online.
Our recommendation for an easy mushroom to find and pick is Craterellus tubaeformis (or Funnel Chantarelle or Yellowfoot). They grow in large numbers, so once you find one, you usually find a bunch. Yellowfoot is an excellent food mushroom and tastes great fried, in soups, sauces and can even be dried.