A fruitful autumn activity: Mushroom-picking in forests
Forests are considered a treasure in Finland. As an integrated part of Finnish life, forests offer people a lot to enjoy and utilize for free. From berries and mushrooms that you can easily pick to taking a walk or staying in forests.
Mushroom-picking is one example of a joyful and useful hobby among many other advantages of spending time in natural green areas. In Finland, there is the general public’s right which gives everybody the freedom to have access to forests. This is called “The Everyman’s Rights”, or Jokamiehen oikeudet. Use this excellent opportunity to spend time in forests, which is also beneficial for our health and well-being.
Different types of Finnish mushrooms
The time for collecting mushrooms is approximately between August and November. Although this is a popular fun activity among most Finns, many struggle with recognizing the edible types of mushrooms. And because there are deadly or poisonous ones, people often pick only a few well-known ones such as suppilovahvero and kantarelli (chanterelles in English).
Be extra careful and mindful of the toxic harmful mushrooms, especially if you're not accompanied by an expert who is able to identify the mushroom species well. If you're not absolutely sure whether the mushroom you see is safe to eat or not, better not pick it. This is especially important for foreigners because they may be used to different types of their home country mushrooms which might look similar to the Finnish ones, but still not safe to eat. One example is the white champignons which most people know as edible, but the Finnish white ones have some edible and some very poisonous. Read more detailed information on different species of Finnish mushrooms.
Organized mushroom-picking tours
There are always some beginners who are interested in mushroom picking, and they may be worried about getting lost in the wild-nature, or concerned about picking something toxic or harmful by mistake. Therefore it is very convenient to participate in some mushroom-picking excursions which are organized by many travel companies.
Mushroom guide books
Some people find the guide books on mushrooms very helpful. They're available in book shops to purchase or to borrow for free in public libraries. Find a suitable guide book to study and learn from about the most common species. Start with getting to know a few types of mushrooms which are easy to recognize for most people, and possibly go together with Finnish friends who are experts in this subject. Try this for a year until you become confident with identifying 1-3 edible species of Finnish mushrooms.
After a year, try to get to know one or two more types. If you continue this every year, you could become a really skilled person in this field. For some people, this fun activity could turn to extra income, and for the rest, it could just be a nice enjoyable hobby.
Cook delicious food with aromatic mushrooms. Some people are fans of this activity and can collect a large number of mushrooms which can then be dried to store for later use, such as in pies, stews, soups, pizzas, or other dishes. It's also important to know that there are some types of mushrooms suitable to be dried and some need to be boiled before use because they are toxic.
After you've tried this mushroom-picking, try this recipe wild mushroom soup.