The story of Vihreät Tassut – Green experiences
“A green shirt flashes through the willow branches. I can hear the sounds of silent splashing and scuffle. I press myself lower in the underbrush, behind the willow tree. I move my foot; it slips down into an underwater dent and I suddenly have water up to my knee. A muskrat hole. The hem of my skirt gets soaked. Grandma thinks girls should wear skirts but this is why one shouldn’t wear shoes. One pair of wellies has already been lost in the muskrat’s clutches. The sedges and mud under bare feet feel cold. Suddenly someone smacks into me from behind. I fall face first into the water. I hear the taunts and ‘neener’ from behind me as I spit peat out of my mouth. Dammit. Next time I must be careful and move more quietly. My clothes are soaked but it doesn’t matter. We climb on top of the boulders on the shore which are spotted with seagull droppings to sit and dry our clothes. Chatting and planning the next make-believe games. The large spruce trees in the shoreline forests seem tempting. We decide to climb as high up as we can. Lets go! Bare toes are the best for climbing; the resin is easier to wash off from your heels than your shirt. The rough bark crunches nicely and feels warm after the cool lake water. The birds escape from the trees; a squirrel scuttles further away from us. Grandma treads the yard down below.
The branches create a green, leafy haven. A secret hideout. Here we are safe from everything; friends together. Blue sky glints beyond the foliage. Birds soar through the wide blue expanse; it calls to us too. We climb higher and not a single thought is spared for how we’re to climb back down. It’s not important. There’s always a way down; that much we’ve learned. Only the way up is what matters. The goal. The dream.”
This is probably where it all started, the summers spent at grandma’s, who knows? Studies, as well as common sense, tell us that the nature relationship one has as a child has positive effects also later in life. Nature gives a sense of importance, strength and wellbeing. Nature amazes, time after time, with its incredible diversity. I became a wilderness guide, hunter and a dog-enthusiast.
Vihreät Tassut takes you safely back into childhood experiences; trecking, trips into the forest and into the senses and trips to pick mushrooms and berries. Swimming in the pond, hiding under a tree, to the bogs to feel the peat under your bare feet or sitting on a boulder, lying down in the underbrush. Listening to stories, relaxing and empowering.
Herb collector training
Commercial Herb Foraging Advisor trains the attendants with reliability to identify the herbs, to collect herbs which fill the quality requirements of commercial sale and to handle the herbs in the way expected by the retailer. The collected herbs must be of standard quality, as if they were from the same collector. The course prepares the attendees with the knowledge and skill needed in commercial use. The collector may forage herbs for companies to be processed further or process the herbs themselves into products for sale or for example to be used in restaurants.
Foraging for wild herbs
On these trips we discuss the edible and delicious, wild Finnish plants, often thought to be the weeds in the garden but which are, in fact, the true treasures of nature, with the high amounts of micronutrients they have. The guide will instruct the proper techniques in identification, in use as spices in everyday cooking and as ingredients in healthy drinks.
Lets taste the multitude of rich flavours and smell all the different scents in nature and learn to identify different edible wild herbs. Lets talk about which plants are poisonous and can be mixed with the edible ones and lets build up confidence and courage to use wild herbs. The point of these trips is not to pick herbs, but to build up knowledge which is needed for such future activity.