Video Interview: In Conversation Book Talk with Naomi Moriyama

June 16, 2022

Presented by Finlandia Foundation National

Watch the book talk on Finlandia Foundation National’s YouTube Channel! 

I had a pleasure of having a conversation about the book “The Sisterhood of the Enchanted Forest: Sustenance, Wisdom and Awakening in Finland’s Karelia” with brilliant Mirva Johnson, second generation Finnish American, Fulbright-EDUFI grantee, University of Turku, & PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

FFN Announcement: “It is a love letter to the people of Finland,” says Naomi Moriyama about the book. In this episode of Finlandia Foundation National’s In Conversation, host Mirva Johnson talks with Naomi about the book inspired by her experiences while in Joensuu for six months, when her husband and co-author, William Doyle, was a Fulbright scholar at University of Eastern Finland

With their son, then age seven, they learned about the Finnish education system, lifestyle, gender equality, the embrace of the outdoors and, of course, sauna. 

On arrival in Finland Naomi immediately pursued her passion, instilled by her mother, to give “the gift of health” through good, nutritious food.

That is a mission she shares with The Martha Organization, a non-profit founded by women in Finland in 1899 to teach basic home skills. Today, the 40,000 members (including men) focus on food, nutrition, home gardening, economics, consumer issues and environmental protection. 

With members of The Martha, Naomi foraged for berries and mushrooms and learned to make traditional Finnish foods. While in the woods, she says, “I experienced such peace and bliss in nature.” 

Her book includes observations, anecdotes and “forest to table” recipes she discovered in Finland. It is available at stores where books are sold, and there are Finnish and audio editions, “Lumotun metsän sisaret – Elämää Pohjois-Karjalassa amerikkalaisin silmin.” 

Thank you, FFN!


Naomi Moriyama with mushroom basket at Villa Furuvik by Elina Simonen; mushroom basket handmade by Tuula Vanhapelto käsityöt, Joensuu; pink shawl by Lapuan Kankurit

Naomi foraging for billberries by Katja Kolehmainen at Kinahmo, North Karelia, Finland


Interviewer: Mirva Johnson

Videographer: Pasi Salminen (

Editor: Maria Mannisto

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