Norway is known for its stunning landscapes and pristine natural beauty. But did you know that it’s also home to a blueberry season that is not to be missed?
If you’re looking for an adventure in the great outdoors, then look no further than Norway in the summertime! In particular, picking your own blueberries is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the Norwegian summer.
But when is blueberry season in Norway? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there, along with other tips to help make your berry picking adventure a success!
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When is blueberry season in Norway?
Blueberry season in Norway typically runs from mid-July to August. However, the exact dates can vary depending on the weather conditions in any given year and where exactly in Norway you plan to go berry picking.
You’ll generally find blueberry season in the south of Norway to be throughout July although if there’s been a lot of rain or cooler weather, this may be slightly later than usual.
Blueberry season further north in Norway will start in August, with the areas in the center of the country seeing ripe blueberries in the first few weeks of the month. Further north, blueberries will be ready for picking later in August and even into September, especially when summer hasn’t been as warm or dry as expected.
Your best bet is to check directly with farms or locals in the area where you plan to go berry picking. They’ll tell you if it’s blueberry season in that part of Norway yet based on the weather they’ve experienced during the growing season.
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Do blueberries grow in Norway?
Yes, blueberries grow in Norway! In fact, blueberries are actually native to Norway, among other places in northern Europe. As they grow best in areas with cool summers and plenty of rainfall, Norway’s climate is perfect for blueberries – or bilberries, as they are called there – to thrive.
Today, you can find blueberries growing all over Norway, from the south to the north.
In fact, you’ll find blueberries basically everywhere in Norway on short bushes that are up to about 12 inches (30cm) high. Given that they grow best in areas with acidic soil, they tend to be particularly prolific throughout inland Norway and in mountain areas.
It also helps that those areas are not as warm and have less sun, which is the perfect blueberry environment – and also means you won’t tend to bump into any of the snakes in Norway that prefer the slightly sunnier areas in the country.
What type of blueberries are found in Norway?
The European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is the type found in Norway. Also known as the bilberry, it differs from the North American blueberry in that Norwegian blueberries grow alone or in pairs and are a dark purple-black color. North American blueberries, on the other hand, grow in clusters with evergreen leaves and are a lighter shade of purple.
In terms of taste, the blueberries found in Norway tend to be stronger. You’ll find them to be quite tangy, especially if you’re used to North American blueberries, and have some sweetness but not as much as their cousins across the ocean.
You’ll also notice another difference when you bite into them, in that the inside of the blueberries in Norway is dark red compared to North American blueberries which tend to be light green inside.
Where can you pick Norwegian blueberries?
There are a few different options for where you can pick blueberries in Norway. You can either go to a blueberry farm, which is becoming increasingly popular, or into the wild to pick them yourself. As they grow almost everywhere in Norway, picking blueberries in forests is a very common thing to do there.
If you want to go to a blueberry farm, there are many all over Norway that open up during blueberry season. These farms will generally have blueberry picking as well as other activities such as other fruits and vegetables to pick, petting zoos for kids, and more. Many of them will also have their own blueberry products that you can purchase such as blueberry jam, blueberry pies and even a blueberry soup that’s known throughout Scandinavia.
Picking blueberries in the wild is a great option if you want a more authentic Norwegian blueberry picking experience (and would honestly be my choice if you can manage it). Norway is covered in blueberry bushes, so you’ll have no problem finding them. Just be sure to check beforehand if it is legal to pick blueberries in the area where you’ll be as some areas may have restrictions.
How to pick blueberries in Norway
The traditional way to pick blueberries in Norway and the way that causes the least damage to the fruit is to do it by hand. However, you can also use blueberry rakes if you want to go a bit faster, although it risks damaging softer berries and will add more dirt to your harvest.
To pick blueberries by hand, simply hold the blueberry bush in one hand and use the other hand to gently pull the berries off of the bush. Be careful not to pull too hard as you don’t want to damage the plant.
If using a blueberry rake, hold the blueberry bush in one hand and use the rake to comb through the berries and release them from the bush. Again, be careful not to damage the plant.
Once you’ve picked your blueberries, put them into a blueberry bucket or some other type of container. It’s best to avoid using plastic bags as they can cause the blueberries to bruise. That said, no one will judge if some of the blueberries end up in your mouth rather than the bucket!
Are blueberries in season all year round?
No, blueberries are only in season for a few months out of the year. In Norway, blueberry season typically starts in late July and lasts until mid-August. However, this can vary depending on where you are in Norway as blueberries ripen at different times depending on elevation and latitude.
If you’re looking for blueberries at other times of year for cooking purposes, frozen blueberries can do the job depending on what you’re making. For baking, I find they work just as well. For jams, there may be a slightly different taste compared to when you freshly pick your blueberries, but it’s not too bad.
What kind of berries grow in Norway?
There are many types of berries that grow in Norway. These include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cloudberries, strawberries and lingonberries. While blueberries are by far the most common type of berry in Norway, you can find all of the others growing in the wild as well.
Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries are generally found in the same areas, while cloudberries tend to grow further north.
Lingonberries may be one you haven’t heard of before, as they don’t tend to be as common as the other types in the rest of the world. They grow in the forests of Norway and are used to make jams, juices and sauces, with lingonberry jam being particularly important in Norwegian cuisine. The rest of Scandinavia also agrees – in fact, if you go to Ikea and order Swedish meatballs, one of the options is to get lingonberry jam with your dish.
You can easily pick these in the wild from late August until September. They are generally found in similar areas to where blueberries grow, given that they also thrive in acidic soil and similar weather conditions.
If you’re interested in picking any of these other types of berries during your time in Norway, be sure to check what’s in season before heading out. And as always, be sure to check if it is legal to pick berries in the area where you’ll be as some areas may have restrictions.
Nordic blueberries are only a small part of what makes Norwegian summers so great. With its long days and warm weather, there’s no better time to be outdoors enjoying all that Norway has to offer. So get out there and enjoy the blueberry season while it lasts!