I think the only reference I have for berry picking rests somewhere in my early childhood.
Firstly, the Gummi Bears. These talking, dressed, secret agent type family of bears lived in a forest and picked gummi berries with which they made gummi berry juice which gave them special powers to fight off the evil forces of Dunwyn.
Secondly, Getafix in the cartoon books of Asterix and Obelix…. I have a vague memory of pictures of him collecting berries and herbs and plants for his magic potions.
Berries and magic potions go together don’t they? So, it was no surprise that I JUMPED at the opportunity go berry picking for the first time ever.
What do you need:
gum boots… the terrain may be muddy
a “dry” forest (I realise this is contradictory to the first item in the list, but “dry” is a relative term here)
a nifty berry scooper thing (or you can just use your hands)
And then, you just go forth and berry pick.
Berries grow on bushes and not on trees (as I had originally thought). Often these bushes are very close to the ground so there may be a lot of bending down involved (beware people with bad backs). Despite this, apparently Finnish grannies collect litres of berries every year. I think when I grow up I want to be a Finnish Granny. They are pretty awesome.
Because of the time of year that we went, we mostly got loganberries (puolukka in Finnish) and a few blueberries (mustikka in Finnish). If we had gone earlier we would’ve got the yellowish cloudberries.
To be honest, when I saw the abundance of berries on the bushes and knowing the cost of berries in Cape Town, my first thought was “Wow, it’s like money just laying on the ground!” So apparently money does not grow on trees, but maybe it does grow on bushes.
And as for the gummi berry juice, well, I ate the berries with my morning oats and coffee but I feel like I probably got more bouncy from the coffee than from the berries. I will have to work on my recipe…