Situation is looking good at Ranua's cloudberry marshes
Reijo Sääskilahti, who sells cloudberry and other berries as a profession at Ranua Hillatori in the summer, has kept a close eye on many “not so good” clouberry marshes in Ranua this summer also.
Sääskilahti made his last visit to the Ranua’s marshes on Monday night and the situation now looks really good according to him.
“I went to visit marshes where there are usually no cloudberries. Now that there seems to be berries in these places, one can anticipate a good harvest.”
The situation is also starting to look good in term of weather conditions. The cloudberry harvest is normally very vulnerable to heavy rains and night frosts, for example, but according to Sääskilahti, the danger in Ranua is already starting to be over.
“Ranua is now on the winning side, as the cloudberry has already passed the tender blossoming season. Heavy rains no longer ruin the berries, and probably frost neither, if you don’t count the coldest areas. At this point, cloudberries withstand more from the weather than during blossoming.”
Cloudberry is a good source of income for berry pickers
In Ranua, cloudberry picking is very good as a side or even main income during the summer season. In an interview conducted by Yle last week, Sääskilahti told that a hard-working and knowledgeable berry picker can reach earnings of up to ten thousand euros a month. Income from the sale of wild berries is also completely tax-free if they are sold without freezing.
The price of one kilo of cloudberry varies greatly during the short picking season according to the prevailing supply. For example, last summer, when there was a lot of cloudberry available due to a good harvest, it was already difficult to get a price of around €20 per kilo, which in recent years has come close to normal when it comes to trade between private individuals.
Sääskilahti recalls in Yle’s interview that last year he started buying clouberry from berry pickers for ten euros, and later the price rose to 13 euros per kilo. The sale price of clouberry per kilo varied between 16 and 18 euros.
Cloudberry picking season starts in July
Thanks to the warm early summer, cloudberry picking is expected to start in Ranua in the first half of July. Reijo Sääskilahti himself thinks that picking the berries will probably start already in the second week of July.
The picking period for cloudberry is usually short, as it only lasts for weeks in its entirety. However, the prevailing weather conditions can even have a significant effect on this. The picking of the cloudberry first begins in the open marshes, where the hill ripens first and the season ends with the picking of the korpihilla, which thrives in the wooded parts of the marshes.
Those interested picking or buying cloudberries should head to Ranua around mid-July, when the best season is about to begin.