As the warm season rolls in, people living in rural areas become a bit restless, regularly checking their "secret" places in the forests. The wild berries might ripen any day after a good rain and sun session. Wild strawberries open the summer berry parade typically in late May. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries continue the lush wild berry season well into late September.
What's in season
Wild strawberries (Fragaria) usually pop up in Ukrainian forests around late May and are available in farmers' markets until around mid-July. These tiny red-colored berries are nail-size, a little more bitter, and piquant than garden strawberries. Next, blueberries are in season from mid-June to mid-July. Then, raspberries ripen in July, whereas blackberries and cranberries appear in August, and all three types stay into early fall.
How to consume wild berries
We could list an endless range of health benefits that wild berries provide. But let's cut a long story short—eating these gifts of nature will considerably boost your immune system. Just make sure to consume them raw. Pies, jams, compotes, and liquors are also yummy, but far less rich in vitamins.
Try berry picking yourself
You can always buy fresh seasonal berries from local markets. But if you like forests and exercise, the berry-picking can turn into a wonderful family-friendly pastime in the outdoors. If you've made local friends, ask them to show you their berry places. We don't recommend you go on your own and pick any berries you're not familiar with, as some could be poisonous.
Best places for wild berries
One of the most abundant forests are located in the Ukrainian Carpathians, which embrace parts of Lviv Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, and Zakarpattia Oblast with the central city of Uzhhorod. But you can find some berries throughout the country.