Sunday, June 14, 2009


I think the best way to go about foraging for any edibles among mushrooms or other wild plants is, to not eat what you do not know. Even people who are trained in gathering mushrooms make mistakes. Much of the advice listed below is not an accurate way to hunt for mushrooms; there are no universal tests or signs such as boiling with a silver spoon. When looking for mushrooms or other plans only eat that which you know certainly to be safe. There are many good resources about edible wild plants, including this collection of information that I have found useful:

I have been interested in the weeds that are pulled from the earth so that the lettuces and other plants may grow without competition. Many of these weeds grow and require no assistance to produce edible berries and foliage, as well as other parts of the plant. Many plants that are edible grow in our city and in our backyards, and yet we have been taught to be distrustful of eating anything other than that which we have planted, or which has been processed for consumption. I would think that it is a valuable thing to learn about the uses of these plants that grow so commonly and that do not require our attention.

Among all of these plants, mushrooms are possibly the most difficult to identify accurately, and so there is a greater risk in foraging for mushrooms. I would think that the challenge of growing mushrooms hold a greater reward, and little of the risk that comes with the difficulties of gathering them in the wild. The best resource for growing mushrooms, or about anything related to mushrooms, will lead you very quickly to Paul Stamets. We heard Adam at the Hamilton Crop Circle mention his name when he introduced us to his fledgling mushroom patch.

Stamets is a good resource when it comes to mushrooms. For a look at his theories, here is a video, and a link to Stamet's website,

TED sponsored by BMW. TED is a giant circlejerk but there is a lot of good science in Stamets' video, and a lot of interesting information on his website. And as I'd be careful just how much disbelief you should be willing to suspend on Stamet's behalf, he remains the best resource we have on mushrooms.

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