Foraging For Cloudberries…

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Yesterday my daughter and I went with a colleague of mine to a nature preserve area that was new to all of us, with the purpose of foraging for cloudberries. We had picked this area since the combination of forest and bogs in this area, and the time of the year would be the right conditions for cloudberries. Cloudberries are rare, and a treat to them lucky enough to know of an area where they grow.

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In theory this is a place where they would thrive. You can’t really tell looking at the photo, but we had to thread very carefully, and jump in between spots of solid ground over this bog. My daughter had never experienced that before and found it both scary and exhausting. I won’t lie, there was a couple hours of complaining. We stopped and had a late lunch on a beautiful island, in the middle of the bog. That lightened her spirit some, but it was still tough. We saw some signs of moose, and heard many birds, but no signs of cloudberries. After finishing up our meal we decided to find our way back to the forest and solid ground, and see if we would have better luck on the other side of the nature preserve.

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This tired girl was happy to be back in the forest.

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To me the day was magical. There was a light breeze, and almost no insects. Very unusual for an area like this. My daughter caught glimpses of that magic too.

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Cloudberry Leaves 

A cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) is a herbaceous plant in alpine, tundra and boreal forest. The fruit is an amber-colored edible fruit similar to the raspberry or blackberry. Despite great demand as a delicacy (particularly in Russia, Norway and Finland) the cloudberry is not widely cultivated. It is mainly a wild plant. Wholesale prices vary widely by the size of the yearly harvest, but cloudberries have gone for as much as €10/kg (in 2004). The ripe fruits are golden-yellow, soft and juicy, and are rich in vitamin C. When eaten fresh, cloudberries have a distinctive tart taste.[2] When over-ripe, they have a creamy texture somewhat like yogurt, and a sweetened flavour. They are often made into jams, juices, tarts, and liqueurs. They are very popular in Scandinavia. The plant spreads by two means. Its seeds are spread by birds and mammals. Locally, its rhizomes develop into wide berry patches.

– Wikipediea (https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloudberry)

On the other side we did find millions of cloudberry leaves, but no cloudberries. We walked and walked, even took the car a couple miles another direction but the only thing we found was cloudberry leaves. Well, not exactly the only thing we found, but we did not find cloudberries. My colleague and I have a theory that it might have been too cold in this are during the spring for any flowers to develop.

Like I said, cloudberries are rare. Once when I was a teenager I worked long days in a bakery all summer, to save up for my drivers license. My little sister slept in every day, and played with her friends while I was working. A few days before the end off the summer break she overheard some elderly folks saying that they’ve found a huge patch of cloudberries in the mountains, a few hours from us. She walked up and asked them if she could go with them the next day. They agreed. She went with them and picked cloudberries for three days (she had never picked cloudberries before.) She then sold the cloudberries to a restaurant, and made more money working three days than I did working three months that summer. If you ever had cloudberries you know why they are special.

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Dactylorhiza maculata

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All the forests are full of blueberries, and we decided to at least pick some blueberries before heading back home.

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Since I wasn’t planning on picking blueberries when I left home I didn’t bring my berry pickers. It is a little slower to pick by hand, but on the other hand you don’t have to sort out leaves etc when you get home.

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I love these free antioxidants, and had a bunch with my yoghurt this morning. We have blueberries in the freezer for that extra energy kick that we may need this winter, and I will add more before the season is over. By the time we started to pick blueberries my daughter’s mood had improved and she enjoyed picking some herself. We picked side by side, and I told her stories about the forest that my grandma told me when I was her age and we picked berries together.

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I feel so light when I’m in the forest. I can’t explain the feeling, my heart and body is light, I breath easily, and feel like flying although I am often quietly sitting down absorbing with all my senses. I hope you enjoyed the visit to Slogmyrlokens Naturreservat.

Love,

Maria

14 Comments on “Foraging For Cloudberries…

  1. I seldom had opportunity to walk in a forest; it was an awe-filled experience. The lights through the high tree branches and leaves. The feeling of being under a very tall ceiling. And the background noise of a mountain stream. Thanks for the photographs that recall the wild to mind.

    I think that I still have fresh-frozen blueberries in the freezer. Enough for fruit and yogurt for breakfast! Best wishes for your day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an AWESOME experience! I feel the lightness you describe so well as you take in all your senses the forest and all that it brings. I totally understand your daughter, reminds me of my kids back in the day trying to show them and experience things that sometimes are hard. So great to share stories that your grandma shared with you.

    I didn’t know cloudberries were so hard to find and rather expensive. I visited my daughter last month had she had cloudberry jam she bought from IKEA and it was the first I’ve ever heard of it and it was AMAZING!! ❤️ Oh my goodness, I Love lingonberry jam immensely but the cloudberries were out of this world!! Too bad they weren’t there for you all to pick. But at least you were able to pick blueberries 😋 YUMMY!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a wonderful day. I really enjoy being surrounded by forest, and being able to get out more is fantastic. Cloudberry jam on waffles is a childhood favourite that never gets old 🙂 I’m happy you got to try cloudberries, it is different. I love lingonberry jam as well, and I hope to pick some lingonberries here in a few weeks. They are more common. Thank you for your comment! ❤

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  3. This is absolutely magical. I loved hearing about the bog, and the picture of your daughter in her red coat among the hummocks is beautiful. I never heard of cloudberries and was convinced you were making them up, right up until the end. 🙂 And the blueberries reminded me of when I lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and we picked wild blueberries (they are very tiny and it takes a lot of picking to get enough to freeze!) on the top of the mountains. I think the climate up there is much like yours, but still, I don’t think there are cloudberries up there either.

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    • Cloudberries is out of this world 😉 A very different experience. I saw that some dictionaries compare them to blackberries, but I think the only similar thing would be the shape, not the taste. Sweden and Michigan does have a very similar climate and nature. I do not know if they have cloudberries though. So happy to bring you along on our adventure 🙂 Thank you for commenting. I hope you are having a great week!

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  4. I’ve never heard of cloudberries. Enjoyed walking with yall through the bog & forest. Interesting moss covered rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love bogs (and forests, too), they are special places that feel almost primeval. Good for ‘forest-bathing.’ 🙂
    Sorry there were no cloudberries, but now you know where to look next summer. 🙂
    I should look for cloudberry jam, it sounds intriguing.
    The birds ate all our blueberries (no surprise), but it has been so hot I haven’t wanted to go to the U-pick farm, plus I think we have to wear masks, not great when one is overly warm to begin with. Times a-wasting, so if I’m going, I need to go soon! We did manage to pick strawberries to freeze last month, so at least there is that.

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  6. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share – Birthdays & Single Parenting – Sagittarius Viking

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