Oh hey ya'all. I just got back from my first-ever berry picking!
This afternoon I joined our Finnish friends Jesse and Ellu in the small village of Sipoo to hunt for the lingonberries they had spotted two weeks ago on a walk. The weather was perfect, warm but with a cool breeze, and we parked the car on a farm path and got hustlin'.
We hiked through the thick forest and past crumbly, abandoned farm houses. We found two (two!) raspberries that had survived someone else stripping the bush and gobbled them, and moved on to a clearing where the lingonberries had been scoped.
Someone had also found our spot and most of the luscious, ripe berries were gone! Undaunted though, we hunted around and managed to collect almost two litres of the little tart suckers that remained, as well as some chunky mushrooms which were expertly determined to not be poisonous by our nature-loving expert, Jesse. "If they are, we just cook them a long time and they're safe." he told me. I might take his word for it (and have poison control on speed dial) while I watch him eat them from afar.
It was so lovely to have a chat with them and pick berries- we had so much to talk about! They were just married a week ago, and we re-hashed the whole wedding, laughed loudly (to keep the bears away, obviously) and stopped after a while to have a licorice snack break to replenish our strength. The reasons why I love living in Finland just keep adding up- I can definitely add berry picking with friends who become more and more dear every day to the list now, too.