Suddenly summer has arrived in Evenstad – wasn’t there snow just a minute ago? Anyway, now it is really warm and time to jump in Glomma river and to lay in the grass between the lectures and watch the herbs and flowers, which are very busy growing this days.
As I said before – the students in Evenstad have very different backgrounds. And especially two of them are very busy these days with harvesting the fresh growing plants: Juuli Vänni and Ada Viljanen are both from Finland and took an education there in «Use of non- timber forest products» (mainly mushrooms, herbs and berries).
Luckily, they are willing to share their knowledge with others and give seminars in Evenstad for students, usually two times a year (in the early summer for herbs and in the autumn for berries and mushrooms). And so we went out yesterday to collect herbs along Glomma and to learn how to determine and use them. We found plenty of different usable plants just a few meters behind the university buildings.
After a theoretical lecture inside («..It is supposed to bring back your virginity. But I think its mainly good in salads», Juuli about Alchemilla vulgaris) and a harvesting- trip outside, we went to the third part of the seminar: Preparing and eating what we had collected before.
Juuli and Ada had also prepared some Finnish specialties for us to taste: A pie, made of deadly mushrooms (Gyromitra esculenta), which become tasty and edible (mainly Finnish people agree on this), when you prepare them right. A soda, made of black current leafs; pickled buds of dandelion; and pancake dough, which became special by adding nettle (Urtica dioica) in it.
After baking pancakes on the fire in the tepee, it is first time to jump in Glomma again. But then, maybe there are some free hours to become nostalgic (as most of my bachelor consisted of botany) and to go out with my Plant determination key to determine some herbs? Maybe I find something more beside the lecture room to add to my next salad from the cafeteria?
Have a great summer and take your time (and your towel) to go for a swim and to explore what is growing right in front of you, while you are lying in the grass:)
Ha det bra!
PS: If you are interested in organizing a herb or mushroom seminar with Juuli and Ada, contact them on Facebook or via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com 🙂