Foraging is one of the most popular hobbies in Finland
A Finnish study by The Natural Resources Institute Finland shows that 66 percent of Finnish people go foraging at least once a year. The most popular is berry-picking: 57 percent of Finns pick up bilberries, lingonberries, cranberries or cloudberries every year. That is more than every second person you would come across walking in the streets of Helsinki!
There is surprisingly little variation in the rates between cities and countryside – as well as between age groups. 42% of the 15-24 year old Finns have gone foraging during the past year, said the study.
Among the Nordic countries, the Finns are the most diligent foragers.
Everyman’s right grants the permissions for foraging
Historically, foraging has been a tradition in the Nordic countries. The vast forests and un-inhabited areas guarantee that there is plenty of berries, herbs and mushrooms for everyone. In Finland the so called “everyman’s right” protects everybody’s right to go foraging everywhere in Finland, excluding just family yards and protected nature reserves. In practice, it would be allowed to go pick berries even on land that belongs to the president of Finland, as long as you keep away from his courtyard.
Forest berries and herbs are nutritional treats of the new millennia
As wildfood and superfood ingredients have become trendy, the popularity of foraging has grown alike. Forest berries are full of nutritional elements and they grow up organically on their own. In addition to the traditional berries, herbs and plants such as nettle, dandelions and hop are among local sources of nutrition.