The cloudberry thrives in cold climate combined with ground which is damp or even wet (marshes). Terrain that's not always easy to reach. Cloudberries almost exclusively grow in the wild and are not cultivated in any large quantities.
The Cloudberry, that beautiful, delicious and elusive golden berry that's hard to get but worth it's weight in gold!
I know it's next to impossible to grow it in your own garden, but I dream of the day I manage to get some to grow right in my backyard.
It's really hard work to pick cloudberries. But there's a special sense of accomplishment you get when you've managed to bring home some and get to feast on them after all that work. It's well worth the effort!
Read our article about the amazing things you can do with your cloudberries if you managed to survive the trip here.
You got to prepare, weeks if not months before you actually go out to be able to feel confident you will bring home some of that bounty. The picking season is short so you have to know what you are doing and where you're going.
The first step you need to take is to map out where you actually might find the cloudberries.
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Golden vs. Golden
The cloudberry is called "the Gold of the Forest" in Scandinavia, but don't be mislead by that name. There is another berry that's called the Goldenberry. They are not the same!
The goldenberry likes it warm and grows wild and is cultivated across the world in temperate or tropical regions.
While the Gold of the forest likes it cold and grows almost entirely in the wild throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Cloudberry Bushes Are Cold-Resistant
The cloudberries them selves are extremely cold-resistant and can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees. The cloudberries flowers, on the other hand, are quite sensitive to cold.
This means that if there is a cold frost night during the flowering period, the flower will be damaged by the frost and then there won't be any berries that year.
But if there hasn't been any frost and the berries do come, you have to be quite quick if you would like to pick some of these delicious berries.
Because the season of ripe cloudberries usually lasts around two months starting in late July or early August.
That feels even shorter if you haven't scouted areas of interest beforehand.
Cultivating Cloudberries Is Almost Impossible
Despite great demand of the cloudberries, as it's regarded a delicacy, particularly in Scandinavia, the cloudberry isn't widely cultivated. You can find cultivations sites but it's most common that the cloudberries are growing in the wild.
This is because it's extremely difficult to grow cloudberries. The plant is very picky when it comes to weather and temperature.
You have to be patient, it takes about seven years from seed to a grown plant.
I usually tell my children that "he who waits for something good, won't mind waiting for a long time.", but 7 years, that's a very long time to wait for your first cloudberries.
There have been exempts on trying to grow cloudberries but there is still not any large plantations where they grow.
But the tests have shown that the cloudberries can be cultivated. Even though it's not very economical just yet.
The cloudberry might, perhaps, be economically viable along the northern coast of Norway and in Arctic areas as there are not many other crops that you can cultivate in such harsh conditions.
Where Do I Find Cloudberries In The Wild?
The cloudberries thrive in damp fields, such as mosses and marshes, on wet meadows and tundra. The cloudberries roots require acidic soil. Low pH that is between 3.5 and 5 pH.
The sun is a beneficial factor for the plant, it want's lots of sun, so the place where the berry grows can't lie obscure. There must be an open glare or field. You can often find the berries in open glares in the forests.
Damp, acidic soil and lots of sunlight and you got a great spot where the cloudberries will thrive.
To actually pick the berries can be quite a challenge.
It's a good idea to be prepared. For example, since the harvest time for cloudberries is relatively short compared to other berries, it's a good idea to scout in advance where you can find the cloudberries in the summer.
Then you do not have to spend time figuring out where there are at the time they are ripe and ready to be picked.
You'll also have to have the right equipment to be prepared when you are heading out there.
Because of the berries favorite locations, moist and damp soil, you need to make sure you, and you fellow gold-hunters have the right clothes, boots and plenty of water.
If you don't, the whole trip can be ruined and you'll be wet, miserable and turn back home empty handed.
Where Do Cloudberries Grow Globally?
The cloudberries grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere. You can find them in Europe, in North America, in Canada and on Greenland.
They are common in Scandinavia were they are popular to pick. It's common in Scandinavia for it to be legal to wander in, and pick any berry or other fruits that grow in the wild.
It's called "allemansratten" which is "the right to public access" in English. You can read more about the "right to public access" at The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
In Europe, they grow in all the Nordic countries and you'll also find the cloudberries in the Baltic states and in Poland.
In Germany they put the cloudberry under legal protection, because it was considered endangered, which means that you can find the berries in Germany, but you aren't allowed to pick them.
You can also find, if you are lucky, the berries in some isolated sites in the English Pennines and Scottish Highlands.
The cloudberries grow wild in North America, like northern Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. You can also find cloudberries in most of northern Canada.
If you really like the cold you can find cloudberries growing wild across Greenland and Alaska. Which might not be the easiest or friendliest environments to be out picking berries in.
You can also find these beautiful berries across northern Russia and all the way to the south of Japan.
Conclusion: Those Beautiful Cloudberries - It's Worth It!
I love cloudberries! It's also rewarding picking them yourself, even thou that can be quite a challenge.
But if you go out there and manage to get a hold of the nice berries you might not know what to do with them. If you want some inspiration on what you can do with cloudberries, you should check out or article "8 amazing things you can do with cloudberries".
It's important to prepare carefully before you go on a cloudberry picking trip.
First of you need to know where you can find them. Then you need to dress right.
Buy yourself some sturdy, comfortable, rubber boots and a pair of waterproof pants. You'll also have to remember to bring a big bucket and some picnic. Don't forget the water.
With the right preparations you can be out for a long time and find those golden, tasty berries.
Oh, and be aware of snakes and other wild-life you might encounter. It's really not common, but we've actually encountered a snake during a hunt for these elusive golden berries.
If for some reason you weren't able to find any cloudberries you can always check out our page where we recommend cloudberry products that we're sure will satisfy your taste buds!
Good luck with your cloudberries!
Frequently asked questions about Cloudberries and how to pick them
Where do cloudberries grow?
Cloudberries thrive in cold climate, growing in damp fields such as mosses and marshes. The cloudberry roots require acidic soil. You often find them in terrain that’s not always easy to reach. But the plants also require lots of sun. So in short, cloudberries love damp, acidic soil with a lot of sunlight.
Where can I find cloudberries?
The cloudberries grow throughout the northern hemisphere. You can find them in the northern parts of Europe. They are very common in Scandinavia. You can find them in North America, like northern Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. In most of northern Canada and across northern Russia. You can also find cloudberries on Greenland and Alaska.
Can I grow cloudberries myself?
Cloudberries are extremely difficult to grow yourself. The weather conditions must be just right for the plant to grow. And it takes time. It can take up to seven years from seed to berry. There have been attempts to cultivate cloudberries for commercial uses, but is still hasn’t really worked. The cost of cultivating cloudberries are still too high and unpredictable compared to gathering cloudberries manually in the wild.
Are cloudberries easy to pick?
Picking cloudberries can be quite a challenge. It requires some preparations that you normally don’t need when picking other berries. This because of where and in what type of soil they grow and that the season it relatively short. It’s smart to plan ahead and be prepared with a map of your cloudberry locations which you’ve made before hand. The cloudberries grow on stems one and one, on damp fields. So right clothes for the occasion, like rubber boots and waterproof pants are needed.
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