Mushroom and Blueberry Picking

Mushroom Picking is not just a hobby or family activity for the people of Poland – it is a sport. It’s entertainment. It is meditation. It’s love for the woods, the divine green, the fresh wet smell of earth, wood, mud and moss. It’s quietly plodding through deep green forests, enveloped only in the sound of your breath and the occasional beautiful forest bird . Mention that you like picking  Grzyby to a Polak and you’ll see a warm soft glow of love appear around them like a haze.

We spent a decent number of hours across two different forests today. Immersing in the greenery of the raw old woods of Poland, in divine silence of forest murmurs and whispers , never fails to detox my mind and body and we always return with a whole lot of this … 

Of course one can get carried picking mushrooms as there are many wild and wonderful colors and shapes to choose from  – both good ones and bad or poisonous ones – but with a fair knowledge of the mushroom world, and trained eyes, one can go far in acquiring a tidy amount of these delicious blessings of the earth.

Such as my husband, who has an impressive knack for seeking out the most camouflaged and hidden Grzyby/ mushrooms , huddled in moss or grass in the shade of trees. 

It might be worth mentioning at this point that it’s been about 2 years since my last post, for no reason whatsoever.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is now my 6th time in Poland – and this time I’m back here as Mrs Anjalika Bose Weber , which to me is taking time getting used to, but for reasons only planted long before I was born, also seems the most natural assumption of my name.

The name also probably gives me extra superpower abilities such as being able to spot more edible mushrooms than I normally do . I’m quite good usually at seeking out the poisonous ones (all shown above) – but magically I’ve conquered that this time round being also able to spot the good mushrooms. (All shown below)

Going for a walk in a Polish forest and you’re bound to encounter forest berries too. 

In this case the blueberries (jagody) were not shy, nothing short of lavishly displaying carpets of themselves in a way that wherever you looked on the ground you’d see blueberries . One could literally go mad here picking blueberries I’d imagine. Losing sense of time and space. 

Thankfully it’s not like in northern Sweden where the sun barely sets in the summer, and you  could actually keep picking blueberries until you realise that it’s been days. 

Stained hands are your prize at the end, blueberry juice adorning your palms and fingers. 

Blueberry picking in a rich forest like the ones you find here is one of the most meditative activities I’ve experienced so far. You’ve got to have the patience. You’ve got to treat them with love as you pluck them . You’ve got to be mindful of not getting too greedy. You’ve also got to master your personal technique to pluck them. . . And there are many . And most of all you’ve got to thank the forest for giving them to you. 

All in all a good days work when you have a box full of a variety of delicious mushroom and 3 tubs of blueberries. 


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