Wild strawberries can be picked this summer, blueberries not

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Wild strawberries. Source: Grete-Liina Roosve/ERR

Wild strawberries are waiting to be eaten on harvest sites, but this year it is not possible to find the same amount of blueberries or blackberries as last summer. No predictions can yet be made about the mushroom harvest.

Kristina Traks, the leader of Peipsi nature trips, who loves to pick berries in the forest in her free time, told ERR that both blueberries and blackberries will not grow big this year and there are not many berries to pick.

"It is a record year of heat and mosquitoes and horseflies. There may be berries, but they cannot be picked. It is terrible here in southern Tartu County, there are so many horseflies and you have to be in a spacesuit when you go to pick berries," Traks said.

If you protect yourself from insects with long clothes, it gets too hot, and that's why picking berries is not a very fun way to pass time, Traks added.

"It seems that it is a bad year in terms of berries and mushrooms. Last year was a huge year for mushrooms and blackberries."

A different summer

Kristjan Pärnaste, sales manager of Forber Group, which deals with the wholesale and purchase of berries and mushrooms, told ERR that it is still too early to compile general statistics, but it already seems that this summer is different from the previous one.

"We hope for the best, but something tells me that this year will be a different summer because the weather is just so hot," he said.

Pärnaste said that blueberries also look especially small this summer and there are many of them.

"It's too early to say anything about mushrooms. First of all, it is necessary to have some rain to understand what kind of a season is coming this year," he said.

Berries are small and sweet

Meelis Pärtel, professor of Botany, head of the Chair of Botany at the University of Tartu, told ERR that it rained in Estonia before wild strawberries were ready, but now, when blueberries should start to ripening, there has been little rain.

"Plants need warmth, light and water. In the current dry and warm weather, berries can be sweet, but there may not be many and they are small," Pärtel said.

Mushrooms are missing rain the most because they need to grow in a humid environment. "Mushrooms can start ripening relatively quickly when it rains. Then it will take a few weeks," Pärtel added.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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