Monday, May 17, 2010

Mushroom Surprise

This was a weekend fit for the gods! Bright blue skies, light breeze, temps in the low 70s. We only came inside to sleep--and only because we were too tired to set up a tent! On Saturday we came in to find a message on the machine from a woman we've never met. Arena (pronounced Ah-ren-na) had found our blog and wanted to take us foraging for mushrooms. Not only had the gods sent us this perfect weather but also a mushroom guide!

Thank goodness. We are terrified of mushrooms. Thag is a student of Jon Young's Kamana Naturalist Training Program. Jon, who lives out west, drills into his students that mushrooms are not to be eaten. He feels strongly that they are so easy to misidentify that one should not risk death by foraging mushrooms. I have listened to his tapes; he must say it 15 times: Do Not Eat Mushrooms.

That being said, mushrooms are rumored to be the most heavenly of all wild edibles. There are gypsy like troops of mushroom hunters who roam the woods worldwide making decent livings gathering and selling the earthy fungi. Mushroomers often train with their parents and then live long healthy lives eating these prized delicacies.

We decided when we composed our top 100; if we are truly going to become foragers, then we would have to delve into the mushroom kingdom.

But mushrooms are secretive. The hide their dark little bodies deep in the forest, often not coming up in the same place twice. Mushroom hunters prize their small treasures and rarely share their special spots with anyone. So what were we, frightened novices, to do? Wait for the gods to send Arena apparently!

Read our next post to find out about our mushroom adventures!

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