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Odds and sods… berries, apples and extreme sports

October 6, 2005
The berries, apples and mushrooms have been excellent this year in Finland. Berry pickers celebrated the cloudberry harvest for example and I mentioned in an earlier entry that the strawberries were excellent this year.
The lingonberry harvest is the best it has been in decades and what is a real shame is that much of the berries and mushrooms in Finland will sadly go unpicked because there are not enough people to get them all! I brought two bags of apples home from a friend’s place last month and it took me a long time to use them all!… Many foreigners are granted work permits to work on Finnish berry farms and orchards in order to reap the rewards of the harvest, here’s a good article from Helsingin Sanomat International about foreign berry pickers in Finland: http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/Thai+berry+pickers+earn+money+in+Finnish+Lapland/1101980482645 1101979994400 (Sorry about the horribly long link!)
 
Finns are really keen mushroom pickers too! Finland also exports TONS of mushrooms to Italy every year… On that note, a big thumbs down to Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, who criticized Finnish food as "bad" and that he had to use his "playboy" skills on Finnish President Tarja Halonen in order to "convince her" that the EU Food Authority should be located in Italy and not Finland… See the complete story here from HS International: http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/Berlusconi+says+he+used+playboy+skills+in+contest+with+Finland+over+Food+Authority%0D%0A/1101979994400 (Sorry again about the horribly long link!)
 
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To finish off, Finland is also a great place to take in some extreme sports. You can go white water rafting in Kuusamo, do some back country hiking in Lapland, sky diving and… (I really want to do this!) zorbing in the Lake District (= Mikkeli area). Check out www.xonpuisto.com and Bird-man currently one of the Link(s) of the Week up on the left… Though if you really consider life here – extreme sport means something like rally car driving – and the Finns are definitely good at that!
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