Weeks of sunshine and unusually high temperatures around Norway in May and June have resulted in early harvests, both cultivated and wild. In addition to all the Norwegian-grown vegetables and fruit now showing up in local grocery stores, the wild cloudberries known as molter are emerging in their marshes earlier than ever before.
“This is totally unusual,” Britt Kåsin of the state information office for fruit and vegetables told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday, after reports that the berries sometimes called “Arctic Gold” were already being found nearly ripe in the marshes of Østmarka, the forest area bordering Oslo’s east side.
“This is very early,” Kåsin said. “We can just add it to the list of all the other fruit and vegetables that are ripening at least two weeks early this year.” The cloudberries normally don’t appear until late July or August in some areas of the country.
“This is all because we had near-constant warm temperatures this spring and early summer,” Kåsin added. “We haven’t had any frost and it was warm through most of May and June.”
Potatoes (poteter), cauliflower (blomkål) and not least the locally cultivated strawberries (jordbær) that Norwegians have a tendency to brag about are also being harvested. “Just think that we can harvest new potatoes in Akershus, Hedmark and Sørlandet at the same time!” Kåsin said, referring to counties north of the coastal counties in the south that normally have a different and cooler climate. “This is completely unique!”
Cultivated raspberries (bringebær) are also being picked earlier than usual while strawberry growers are reporting a “super season” that also began early. Some local strawberries were also on the market in mid-May. For consumers, prices per basket have already fallen from around the NOK 40 (USD 6.60) common in late June and early July to NOK 26 in one local Oslo grocery store. Many Norwegians equate summer with lots of strawberry-eating outdoors, and they won’t be disappointed this year.
Wild raspberries and blueberries common in Norwegian forests are also expected early, in what Kåsin calls a “berry explosion” all over the country. “It’s just to get out there and enjoy what the nature has to offer,” she told NRK.