A little fishing and a lot of berries!

At the beginning of August, the Woodsbabe, Woodsboy and I joined my in-laws at the cabin to enjoy some summer sun, boating, fishing and berry picking. We suited the Woodsboy up, who was chomping at the bit to head out.

We hopped in the boat, and Woodsbabe rowed…

…while I fished. 😀 Thanks Woodsbabe! 😉

On the other side of the lake, there were boulders in one direction:

And berries galore in the other:

We picked bilberries (vaccinium myrtillus):

And northern bilberries (vaccinium uliginosum):

We saw some cow berries (vaccinium vitis-idaea), but they’re not ripe yet:

I snapped this picture nearby. The lichen and plants kind of look like a miniature forest to me.

Upon returning to the cabin, the Woodsboy and I set up the hand-line fishing rig with a piece of a fake worm and tried our luck.

We managed to get two roach fish (rutilus rutilus) like this:

After fishing, we looked around the yard for more berries. We found rowan berries (sorbus genus) (note: these are not poisonous, but are very bitter and could bother your stomach!):

Black currants (ribes nigrum):

And white currants (ribes rubrum):

Then the Woodsboy and I headed down the dirt road to find more berries. We found a lot of raspberries (rubus idaeus):

And stone bramble (rubus saxatilis):

We also saw unripe lilly of the valley (convallaria majalis). They turn orange when ripe. DO NOT EAT THESE BERRIES, as they are poisonous!

As we walked back, I shot this field of fireweed (chamerion angustifolium). Many of the seed pods have opened and released their fluff.

This is probably the most prolific time of year for berries in Finland. The wild strawberries (fragaria vesca) are mostly long gone now, hence no pictures of them in this post. The last berries to ripen should be the cow berries and black crowberries (empetrum nigrum), which will last into the autumn.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of some of Finland’s wild and cultivated berries. 🙂

Disclaimer: Consuming wild edible plants and/or using them for medical purposes is done at your own risk. Always be 100% certain of what you are eating/doing. If unsure, contact an expert.


17 comments on “A little fishing and a lot of berries!

  1. Zkye says:

    awww, this is cute..

  2. Gary Fruland says:

    Enjoyed reading of your berry discoveries and your son’s lunker. I recently found some wild berries the hard way in Duluth, Minnesota which has a climate similar to Finland. I was doing a 50 mile trail running race there and since it was 42 degrees F on July 28th and raining the steep slopes that we had to run up were very slippery. I was grabbing at any vegetation on the uphills to avoid slipping back down and found about 5 varieties of berries by having my hands full of thorns from the berry stems. Oh well at least I didn’t slip back down and I had a little trailside snack!

  3. OutdoorEnvy says:

    Good times. Looked like the little guy was enjoying himself. I love taken the kids fishing.

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks for the berry lesson!! Looks like Woodsboy had a good time, especially when he caught a fish!! You had a nice relaxing day with Woodsboy and Woodsbabe…the weather was great!!


  5. Skaukraft says:

    You can make a very delicious jelly of the rowan berries, which is very good company with wild game or meat, or even with trout.
    Let me know if you want the recipe.

    • I read something about rowan berry jelly some time ago. Please do leave the recipe in a comment here. Thanks!

      • Skaukraft says:

        The jelly is best if you harvest the berries after a frist night or two. Or you can put the berries in your frfeezer for a night or two.

        1 kg rowan berries
        1.5 deciliter water
        800-900 g of sugar per liter of juice

        Clean and rinse the berries. Boil the water and let the berries boil for 10 minutes or until the juices out. Strain the mixture through a cloth until it stops dripping. (You can also use the steamer or boiling the berries in water bath)

        Measure the juice and let it boil for 5 minutes. Add sugar gradually. The sugar must be inserted gradualy so that it dissolves. Boil then gel gently for about 20 minutes without a lid and without stiring.

        To test the jelly: Pour some jelly in a bowl and put it in the fridge. When it is cooled down, pull a teaspoon through it, if the jelly doesnt float back it is ready. If the gel has boiled enough, remove the pan from the heat a few minutes. Scoop the jelly over in hot clean glasses. I prefer to use glasses with screw lid, and screw it tight while it is still steaming hot.

        Store the glasses in a cool and dark place.

        With the amount of sugar involved this isnt jam you use on your bread every day, but it is a great taste additive to go with meat. And try some in the sauce for the “kjöttbullar”.

  6. Looking good there chief, berry mania is raging here as well. Tons of sweetness, love this time of year.

  7. Corey says:

    Great post. Looks like it is gorgeous out there right now! You guys are getting pretty adept at the handline fishing thing.

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