Hei! That is the Finnish word for Hello! So, Hellooooooo SOS’s! I feel like I am finally getting back into the swing of things! 2019 was a very busy year for us and we don’t look to slow down any time soon!
It has been so warm this winter and I am itching to get back in my garden. I will share a post soon on the projects I would like to
complete work on this year. But, in the meantime, I thought I would share some photos from one of our stops on vacation last year. I am always interested in gardens, anybody’s garden, or a plant found here and there. I am really on Cloud Nine when I stumble upon someone in their garden, who also speaks English. That didn’t occur in Porvoo, so I was content to peep into the woods nearby and look at the flowers in front of the shops. But, let’s get going……………
We’re in Porvoo, Finland!
This first photo, looks like an Hibiscus…….. to me. But, how can that be? I would think it was much too cold here for them! And these have fruit, or something! Anyone know what these are? I found them at the edge of a forest thicket.
I was on the lookout for a Cloudberry………..they are orange berries all stuck together like little clouds……..this is the most valued Finnish forest berry and the most expensive to buy. They grow in boggy terrains in Northern Finland, mostly in places that are well hidden and difficult to reach. Families with a good spot for the berries keep it a secret. The cloudberry is related to the raspberry and are regarded as a delicacy to be served on special occasions.
Porvoo is about 29 miles northeast of Helsinki and I may have been too far South for them, but I looked anyway. I didn’t find any, but I learned this. The ripe fruits are golden-yellow, soft and juicy, and rich in Vitamin C. When eaten fresh they have a distinctive tartness. When over-ripe, they have a creamy texture, like yogurt, and a sweet flavor. They are used to make jams, juices, tarts, and liqueurs. In Finland, the folks like to eat the berries with warm leipäjuusto, (a local cheese; the name translates to “bread-cheese.”) They also like to eat them with cream and sugar. Nordic seafarers valued them for their vitamin C and brought them with them out to sea. They are now considered a delicacy because they are not widely cultivated and grow primarily as a wild plant. Prices are dependent on the size of the yearly harvest.
This is also what I learned………Berries and mushrooms can be picked from July until the first snows. First to appear are bilberries, then raspberries and then lingonberries. The berries that grow in the forest are part of the Finnish traditional diet and gathering them is a national pastime that has been passed down through generations. This tradition is popular as ever and despite urbanization, 56% of Finns, regardless of their socioeconomic status, pick forest berries seven times each summer. THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC BERRY PICKERS ARE ELDERLY WOMEN: 87% are in the age group 60-74! I would fit right in! Northern and eastern Finland produce the largest quantities of berries and the people living there are the most active pickers. The berries are turned into juice or jam to preserve them for winter, without any processing, so they retain their Vitamin C. Demand exceeds supply only because there are not enough pickers. In recent years pickers have been brought from Estonia, Russia and Southeast Asia. The “Everyman’s Right” Law allows anyone, who lives in Finland or is just visiting to forage for berries and mushrooms, fish anywhere with rod and reel and camp in natural areas. Any money made from the sale of natural produce is exempt from tax. Picking berries is good business for everyone!
The only orange berries I found were these…….are they winterberry?
Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland and is a tiny, tiny village along the Porvoonjoki River. This medieval village has retained the wooden storage buildings and old houses along cobblestone streets and is recognized for its historical value. I had the best time exploring the shops and of course looking at what grows here! Planting arrangements were found in old kettles……
and plants for sale could be found in front of the shops too……
Never throw away an old, rusted pot or the wobbly plant stand from times gone by!
and remember you can BLOOM where ever you are planted!
I hope you have enjoyed my day trip and plants from Porvoo, Finland today! I have several more posts coming about our adventures in Finland, that I think you will find interesting, so be on the lookout for those!
It’s fun on Saturdays to see everyone’s posts on gardens, plants, flowers and more!
Won’t you join us with your SOS?
The instructions for SOS are easy. The photos can be flowers, vegetables, a garden design, whatever, as long as it’s garden related and posted on Saturday! So, its six photos. Of Gardens. On Saturday. Easy Peasy. To see all the SOS’s look at SIX ON SATURDAY, hosted by the Propagator, to check out all of them each Saturday! See you next week in another spot!
PS If you would like to see what last year looked like for me, look HERE.