I’d like to learn more about foraging for edible wild food because I think that it’s a useful skill to have. Not only can it provide you with nutritious and free food, but it connects you to the environment and the rhythm of the seasons. It’s also a valuable skill to pass on to your family members and children.
There are a few plants that I do forage from: saskatoons bushes, huckleberries, and wild blueberries. I could also pick dandelion leaves… but I don’t. Clearly, I have much to learn about foraging.
This past Saturday I got the chance to learn some foraging skills. Foraging for mushrooms. Our town university’s biology club organized a mushroom walk. Two professors led a group around the university and the surrounding forest and identified different mushrooms.
The only edible mushrooms we found were growing right on the university grounds.
These mushrooms are only edible when immature (white inside). When the spores start turning green the mushroom is no longer edible. I remember stomping on these mushrooms as a kid and seeing puffs of green spurt out.
Shaggy manes are good to eat until they start turning brown or going inky.
All the other mushrooms we found were not edible. It was interesting to see that the professors weren’t able to identify quite a few the mushrooms and simply called them LBMs (little brown mushrooms) and warned us that we should not eat a mushroom unless we are 110% confident that we know it’s edible.
The walk was a great learning experience. I learned that I would need to go on a least 100 of these walks to be somewhat confident with identified mushrooms! At least it’s a start.