Best time to pick mushrooms?

Autumn is approaching fast. I can smell it and I can feel it. Hot summer days are gone and trees are turning yellow. Autumn is also time for mushrooms.

Rainy August provided enough moisture for mushrooms to thrive. Now they are popping up everywhere. Most mushrooms I don’t recognise at all, but every now and then I come across those that I know.

A few weeks back I went to Nuuksio National Park for a walk with my parents. We didn’t go to hunt mushrooms, but we kept an eye out for them. As we walked in the forest in Yli-Takkula, past Orajärvi and Iso Majaslampi, we managed to find a few good mushrooms without having to step away from the path. We only picked a few but it was enough to make a mushroom and onion stir fry for breakfast. It tasted like autumn.

Mushroom picking is a traditional autumn activity in Finland and, since covid, it has gotten more popular. The pandemic started this outdoor boom in Finland and while Finns have always been quite keen to spend time in nature, covid took it to the next level. Everyone is an outdoor enthusiastic nowadays. It is nice, but good spots are a lot busier. And apparently some people are worried they won’t find enough mushrooms now that everyone is picking them. At least the people on the (not a very serious) radio programme I was listening to were discussing this dilemma. 

They gave this top tip: if you want to go mushroom picking, go on a Thursday. I don’t think the mushrooms care much about the weekdays, but the people who pick them do; weekends are the busiest days in the forests in the Southern Finland. If you go on a Thursday, you are there before everyone else and there are more mushrooms to be found. In theory at least.

I mainly pick chantarelles, funnel chantarelles and horns of plenty/black trumpets. And now I’m trying to learn to recognize some boletes and russulas as there are plenty of them around and maybe less people would be after them…

Quick Look

  • What: forest walk and mushroom picking
  • Where: Yli-Takkula, Nuuksio National Park, Southern Finland

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