Czech people are emotionally connected to their meadows and forests. Local people vanish from Prague’s streets during weekends in the summer months, when they leave for the cottages they own in the countryside.
Lengthy forest walks amongst the trees, with frequent breaks for picking wild blueberries, mushrooms and strawberries, are a traditional routine. Almost every child in the Czech Republic learns early in life which wild fruits from the forests are safe for consumption. Many people have secret, favourite areas that they go back to each year.
All this foraging provides the main ingredients for traditional Czech cakes, pickling jars and soups.
In the evening on Sundays, train stations are filled with students returning home and retired people who are laden with the fruits of their meanderings over the weekend.
If you attempt to pick berries yourself, it is better to use a guide based locally. Many Czechs will gladly allow you to go along with them if you ask them, though. If you want to try picking fruit on your own, stick to the strawberries and the blueberries to be safe and make sure you know what you are looking for. August and July are the prime months for picking, and the forests outside all smaller Czech towns will give you surprisingly large yields.