“One berry isn’t quite enough, is it?” We can almost hear the voices of Ola, Anna and Ingeborg interacting in the museum’s raspberry field. They are all members of the museum’s Summer School, and one of their assignments this particular day is to pick raspberries.
Their happy faces reveal that they have been picking, eating and really enjoying themselves. There are certainly more berries in their bellies than in their cups! Ingeborg, the younger girl, might be thinking: “Without berries in the cup, how can our berry picking actually increase our food supply?” Their assignment from “mom” today was to pick berries to increase the family’s food supply.
Berries have been a vital part of the diet and a valuable increase of food supply in Norway throughout the centuries. Today, berry picking is not necessarily done out of necessity to increase a family’s food supply. Many will say that berry picking just as much means having a good experience outdoors or even having a meaningful cultural experience.
When Ola, Anna and Ingeborg pick berries in the Open-Air Museum this nice summer day, it also has an additional dimension. In today’s society, with efficiency as the measuring stick for most things, berry picking might bee view as something uneventful and insignificant. This trivial task, however, can be a significant approach to learning and understanding. Through the assignment “increasing our food supply”, the children learn much about cultural history by doing a specific task. Berry picking in a cultural and historical environment can provide precious and unforgettable experiences and invaluable understanding.
Mother and child heading for the strawberry field in 1964.