Norway’s forests are once again full of wild berries and mushrooms, with marshes featuring the golden cloudberries known as multer. Both raspberries and lingonberries (tyttebær) have been ripening as well, and local experts think it will be a record season.
“I’ve been finding lots of the mushrooms and in my local forest of Kjekstadmarka (west of Oslo, south of Lier), there are massive amounts of ripe blueberries,” Elizabeth Sørenssen, age 74, told newspaper Dagsavisen. She’s the newly elected leader of the Buskerud Sopp- og nyttevekstforening, a county organization that promotes the bounties of nature.
It’s been a poor summer for cultivated strawberries, but not for wild berries. A recent trek in Nordmarka, the hills and forests north of Oslo, revealed an unusual abundance of large, ripe multer in marshes at elevations over 600 meters. They’re expensive when purchased in local stores, but free for the picking in combination with a hike in the hills.
There were also vast amounts of blueberries on offer, while the sweet wild raspberries are flourishing now, too. They’re common, especially in areas where trees have been cut down and the bushes have more access to sunshine.
Sørenssen said conditions have been ideal for mushrooms this year, with lots of mild and damp weather. The berries also benefit from a mild autumn and winter, with a warm spring.
Those plucking mushrooms are warned, as always, to make sure they’re safe to eat. So-called sopp-kontroll (mushroom control) stations will once again be set up at various locations to guide consumers. They disappeared last year for lack of funding, but the government set aside money in this year’s state budget to help cover the costs of courses and certification of the experts.
In Oslo, stations will be set up at Rustadsaga in Østmarka and Sognsvann in Nordmarka from 3-5pm on Sunday, timed to assist those heading back from a Sunday stroll in the woods. Other locations can be found at www.soppognyttevekster.no/soppkontroll (external link, in Norwegian).