Enjoying the wild fruits of late summer

There are wild strawberries to be picked both in my garden and along a small road I walked in the woods. It must mean it is still summer? But I have to admit that I have started harvesting wild berries and that usually means the summer is ending for this year.

I have picked billberries, or blueberries as we call them in norwegian (blåbær). They are smaller than american blueberries, but the taste is richer and they contain more vitamins, and not the least: there are a lot this year and they are free to pick in the woods.

The raspberries were late this year, and I am picking them now. Both the big ones in my garden, and the smaller wild ones that have the richest raspberry taste you can imagine. They grow abundantly along the fields just outside my garden, and I also have a taste of them when I walk the dog in the woods. At home I do as I do with all wild berries: I mash them with some sugar and eat it as jam on bread. Or use them as dessert.

Later I will pick cowberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). They are not ripe yet, but are one of my favorites among the wild berries, even if they are not very sweet. Actually they are quite sour, but mixed with sugar they taste excellent on bread. Personally I prefer dark bread made with different kinds of flour and seeds with the cowberry jam.

I have picked more cloudberries, but now that season is soon finished, even at the high mountains were they ripen last. With the cloudberries I don’t do as with the other wild berries. I don’t mash them with some suger and then freeze what I don’t need at once. Instead I sprinkle some of them with sugar and freeze them like this, to be eaten as dessert with fresh cream later. Most of them I boil just a little, with sugar of course, and fill in hot glass jars. These can be frozen also, but it is not not necessary if they are going to be eaten within a year or two and you have a cool cellar. Like cowberries they contain a lot of natural preservatives and they can stay fresh for ages.. More photos here.


98 thoughts on “Enjoying the wild fruits of late summer

  1. What an amazing harvest.. the slugs and blackbirds had my strawberries this year before I could get to them but I did rather better with my tomatoes. I’ve never seen wild blueberries in the UK.. 😕


  2. I’ve often wondered what it is that makes the wild berries taste so much better. I wasn’t familiar with all of your berries, but they look so wonderful and delicious. Great images.


  3. What a wonderful berry collection that you have here. You have been quite busy picking them, and one of my favorites is the wild raspberry. We do have those in Maryland and I stop by the side of the road so that I can get some. Many don’t make it home though. 🙂

    I am jealous with your harvest.


  4. Oh Bente, can I come over to Norway and live in your woods? LOL

    I love berries, but usually only buy blueberries, raspberries & strawberries in summer at the food market and since I had to take early retirement from working, I can no longer afford raspberries which are really expensive and have a short season in Australia.

    I would soooooo love to be able to pick them in the wild. Your photos are just wonderful and after looking at them, I am really hungry.

    I’ve never heard of cowberries or cloudberries before your post.


  5. Yum! Yes, the berries signal the summer is moving on… but not quite over. We get wild blackberries on the roadsides in the country in late January and what we don’t get to quickly the birds do. Oh, and Council likes to spray the bushes because they consider them noxious!


  6. Un magnífico esfuerzo de relato fotográfico… y del final apoteósico dulce, declino entrar: demasiada golosina para no pecar mortalmente… ¡Qué tío!…
    Felicidades, Bente!!!


  7. Such beautiful berries, some of which I’ve never tasted and so seem very exotic. Wild raspberries too are something I’ve never heard of! Enjoy your bounty, Christina


  8. This reminds me also of my childhood, when my grandmother made lots of preserves and we went out foraging for all those wonderful things nature has to offer – in autumn we’d go out mushroom hunting, too! Wonderful post, thanks very much, you made my mouth water just thinking of those blue berries, yum!


  9. Mmmm….yummy!~ Cowberry, cloudberry, billberry (blueberries that I’ve never seen grow in the wild)…what luxury and exoticism. You’re so lucky! ;oD


  10. My mouth is watering at these photos! I have wild strawberries as a ground cover in my flower bed. They hitchhiked on something I transplanted and beautifully fill in the ground at the base of the flowers. Our strawberries are best in late Spring. I love to eat them just the way nature made them.


  11. Enjoy eating them all, is a great great fruit eater especially the wild ones… 😉

    Cowberries is so wonderful for roast beef or moose steak

    – but loves them all… 😉


  12. Hi Bente, I am going to tell my niece about your website and blog. She is going to stay with a host family during the months of November, December and January. I think she will find your accounts and photographs of life in Norway very interesting. She won’t get to sample your wonderful berries though. What a pity.


  13. Sometimes you see and read something, and you want to say something, to acknowledge how much you liked it, and how inspired it makes you feel, but the right words feel a little asinine, or inadequate. Nevertheless, some kind of response (inadequate or not) seemed completely necessary. So sorry for clogging up the comments more with this fairly non-responsive response, but CIA and I both just really love berries, and seeing this makes us both wonder how on earth we’ve never been to Norway!?


      1. We’ll have to keep the timing in mind, the next time we head over to Europe (Norway was one country to many for the two-year stint in Europe, which just ended).

        It’s next on my (that is to say, PJD’s) list, since I just ticked Iceland off…


  14. As you know, I read and liked this post some time back and yet the images stuck to me the whole time. I just couldn’t shake off the delicous succulent images that you had captured here. Sigh…I just had to come back again just to stare. 😀 Oh I wish I could take photos like yours and oh I wish I had such a bountiful harvest of berries in my forest! Amazing shots Bente and what a stash you’ll have for winter! Sharon


    1. That was very nice of you, Sharon. Especially since you take amazing pictures. And if you are still in Finland, why not just run out and pick some berries in the woods. There might still be billberries (blueberries) and I am sure cowberries around. The last one taste nasty just eaten from the bush, and wonderful crushed and mixed with suger on brown bread. I picked blueberries even when I lived in Oslo years ago, in September..


  15. Such richness and abundance! The berries do look yummy. And I am really amazed about the amount of cloudberry. The pictures are beautiful and I like how you vary from close-ups to overviews.


  16. Wow…I love berries too…especially the humble blue berry!! Thanks for giving me a visit at my photo journal and for the beautiful, healthy feast right here!!


    1. Yes, I preserve a lot for winter. I make jam of it, just crushed berries mixed with suger eaten on (I prefer) homemade bread. Many people use these wild berries as dessert also. But the yound people in the 20s and 30s buy their berries and jam in the shop..


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