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More mushrooms in Latvian forests this year

01.09.2011
 | LETA

Thanks to favorable weather conditions this summer, there are much more mushrooms in Latvian forests this year.

The mycologist from the Natural History Museum of Latvia, Inita Daniele, urged that it is high time for mushroom and berry picking.

"Currently, everything suggests that the mushroom growth is perfect, as it has rained a lot, but it has been quite warm. Of course, the location of a forest and tree species in each forest also influence mushrooms. Still, if precipitation and rainfall stay at current levels, the yield will be negatively influenced, as mushrooms already contain much water and they may become spoiled much faster," said Daniele.

As the PR specialist Elza Zida told LETA, the most popular open-air pastime among Latvians, especially women, is mushroom and berry picking.

According to a survey carried out by "Latvijas valsts mezi" and "SEB banka", two thirds of respondents said that berries and mushrooms were the most valuable bounties of nature. The data of the survey also suggest that mushroom picking is more popular among elderly people - only 17 percent of respondents aged 16 to 19, and almost 60 percent aged 50 or more, said mushroom picking was their favorite pastime.

The number of fungi species in Latvia extends to 4,100, which gives the total production of 60,000 tons. 1,100 of the species are so-called cap mushrooms, out of which 300 are edible and 30 - poisonous. Mushroom-pickers usually recognize and pick around 20 to 30 of mushroom species.