August 16, 2022

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In a secret location, the family discovers their "blueberry paradise."

In a secret location, the family discovers their “blueberry paradise.”

Blueberries are “trendy” this year, says a blueberry researcher. For Sverre Bøe (3), it’s better than candy.

A Sunday morning in late July. Beyond the subway stop at Bøler in Oslo, the Østmarka forest is about to fill with people.

The sun is waiting, but it’s warm in the air. Some are out for a run, while others are on their way home from an overnight camping trip.

Is it a good day to pick blueberries? For three-year-old Sverre Bøe, the answer is a reluctant yes.

– He is rarely interested in sweets. Grandma Ann Lotte says nothing makes him happier than a bowl full of blueberries.

Preparations are made for a successful Blueberry Sunday. Papa Waygard Bo has packed a seat mat and lunch in his rucksack, and filled several empty boxes with berries.

Grandma helps out by singing the verses of the children’s song “Morse Lille Ole,” which she and the grandchild usually sing together:

“Roses on the cheeks and sunshine in the eyes. Little lips turned from blueberries to blue,” she sings.

– Do you remember how it went with Ole who went out to pick blueberries? she asks her granddaughter.

– A bear came! Svere exclaims.

Most of the berries Sverre picks up go into his mouth. Fortunately, he gets some “cheat favors” from Grandma and Dad, who continue to help fill his blueberry box.

Blueberries are definitely on the evening menu. Sverre looks worriedly into his nearly empty box of blueberries.

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It doesn’t help that he more or less “bathes” in blueberry heather:

– I don’t know if there are enough blueberries here. We should pick more so everyone gets plenty, he says before popping another blueberry into his mouth.

Before he swallows, a dark intensity spreads across his face. He touches his face with his blue fingers.

– We forgot to buy custard!

Many, big and thirsty

How many blueberries there are from year to year depends on weather conditions, explains Stein Jør Hekland. He is a professor and ecologist at the Norwegian University of Applied Sciences.

– Blueberries are a species that thrives in cold regions. Norway has a typical climate.

Stable winters and proper snow cover are important factors. It’s also good that spring doesn’t come too soon. That means more bumblebees, important for pollination of blueberries.

If we are to believe the blueberry researcher, 2022 is a good “blueberry year”. There are many of them, they are big and they are thirsty. Both East, South and West of the country.

– High season lasts until the end of August, at least in eastern Norway. In the mountains, blueberries often bloom later because of the cold, Hegland says.

“Trendy” to pick berries

A blueberry researcher points out that berry picking has boomed in recent years, especially among young people.

– I notice that students and young people are more interested in berries now than 10 years ago. Picking berries seems to have become “trendy” in some contexts, he says.

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Blueberries are a resource we have in abundance in Norway, just waiting to be used. Plus, it’s one of the healthiest berries you can get your hands on, full of antioxidants and other vitamins, says a blueberry researcher.

– Then it goes well with all sweets, especially cream and vanilla. Blueberries can be used for many things: juice, vinegar and as a wine base. There’s a reason blueberries are called “the grape of the forest.”

Currently, the forest is full of crickets, raspberries and mullets. But according to blueberry researchers, blueberries are the easiest.

“Medium,” he says, is a key word to remember the conditions under which they grow; According to the blueberry researcher, medium dense pine forest, medium access to light and medium moisture.

Was the crisis averted?

The question about custard comes up once, twice and three times during the Bøe family’s exam session.

– Can’t we buy it at the centre? asks Zvere confidently.

When he found out that today was Sunday, he was shocked. The father assures his son that they will do their best to see that a shop opens on Sundays.

– We’ll get custard, Grandma promises.

Fortunately, the mood is once again on the upswing when he discovers it The biggest Blueberries have always been appreciated by both Dad and Grandma.

Anne Lotte Bo and her grandson Sverre Bo fill the box with blueberries together. If all goes according to plan, there will be blueberries and custard for dessert.