It's time to celebrate unique-one of a kind nature!
Like Reeta told you in December in her blog, Finland is the first country in the world to officially celebrate its nature with an official holiday, or flag day as we call them in Finland. 2017 will consist of four different seasonal nature celebrations,starting with Winter on February 4th. The theme is "Cross country ski to winter". Trust me, it sounds better in Finnish :)
The 4th is the day when the long dark days start getting brighter with more sunlight and the nature starts preparing itself for spring. This is also a very popular time for tourists to visit Finland and Lapland to enjoy the unique nature, snow, the cold weather, the first rays of the spring sun and the amazing Northern Lights. The most daring even try one of our national eccentricities, swimming in the ice :)
Animals and plants are also greatly affected by our four seasons. Finnish berries grow in a one-of-a-kind environment as you can read in one of our previous blogs.
NordicNordic Ingredients & Winter
Out of the ingredients we use for our products, lingonberry, bilberry and chaga grow wild in the arctic woods and the seasons and weather always affects the upcoming growing season.
Lingonberry spends the winter beneath the snow in almost a frozen coma of sorts. It keeps its waxy leaves even in extreme cold temperatures. Lingonberries don't ripen until August-September and can withstand the first frost without being effected. 2-3 nights of frost in a row will make the berries fall off.
Bilberry surprisingly behaves very differently. It is part of the Ericaceaeh plant family and drops its leaves for the winter. It can still be considered an evergreen as the plant stem still goes through photosynthesis even without the leaves. So that bilberry plants can produce the most berries the next growing season and make it through the winter, it needs a thick snow covering to protect it. Late frosts and extreme cold weather in the spring can destroy the the upcoming bilberry harvest. The berries ripen around mid July to beginning of September depending on the year.
Chaga is unique because it can withstand almost any type of weather changes as it is a fungi. During first snow, the birch fungi can easily be recognized from its white "hat". We would not recommended collecting chaga during the winter when it's frozen as it is harder to cut and the tree can be damaged. 20-25 year old chaga growth is considered higher quality as the health benefits increase with age. So, if you see small growths, don't collect them! It's better to let them grow and age. You can handpick chaga any time of year but the best harvest season is from beginning of July to end of November or first thing in the spring after the snow melts as those are the times when the fungi is most potent.
This is not to say that certified organically grown berries; sea buckthorn, chokeberry and blackcurrant aren't affected by the seasons but more can be done for them in the beginning of the growing season i.e. additional watering etc.
The Healing Effects of Nature
Finnish nature is truly unique- pure, unmatched nutrition, beautiful sights, and fresh air can't be found anywhere else and it's better than anything money can buy! Our home town is just below the Arctic Circle and Reeta and I were raised to respect the nature around us and the four seasons. We have and still do both live in other countries from time to time and I am always looking for a park I can go sit in to enjoy the greenery and peacefulness. When I'm in Finland, I go to the woods behind our house and just enjoy the quietness. You just hear yourself think better while walking quietly surrounded by nature. That's how we came up with the idea to start NordicNordic!
I hope that you welcome pure nutrition and nature to your every day life as well!!!