A day in the life of a Forager…
Today it is another cold day in the forest, you can smell the sweet damp in the air as you pick each mushroom, inhaling the exquisite aroma, this is lush, this is Winter, this is my time.
My fingers are frozen, the giant wooly coats are not just pretty for photoshoots they are a uniform for me, the only protection from nature’s test of a real forager in the mid-Winter forest she who can withstand the cold is triumphant!
With my basket, mushroom knife & stick and thermos of wild picked herbal tea I inhale the fresh air and take a moment to thank mother nature for her nourishing harvest for which we are all too grateful.
She is my life giver in so many senses, my passion, connection and grounding is the bush.
Not in the literal sense-shout out to my real life giver- you rock Mum 🙂
But Mother Nature is such an integral part of our family’s life now in a way I could have never imagined a decade ago, it’s a forager’s life for me now and there ain’t no looking back!! Although we may need to make a Foragers Anonymous meeting for me and all my fellow foraging addicts, we don’t have a problem we have a passion!
My life and work now centers around the seasons and it’s just such an abundant mushroom season in the Goldfields of Victoria.
The wild chives are every where and the 3 cornered leeks are finally at an edible size some even with flowers already.
The Hawthorn berries are all but bare and to me this equals a foraging frenzy like no other time of the year!
This now means it’s my busiest time of year not just for work, but also for feeding my family for the rest of the year. It is a constant cycle of basket after basket of mushrooms being cleaned and processed to be dried, cooked, preserved and stored for the rest of the year.
This is how we have not had to buy mushrooms for over 7 years now. When its summer and dry we have beautiful dehydrated wild mushrooms that in some cases taste even better when they’ve been dried.
It’s also a time when a lot of people who don’t normally forage all of a sudden pick up a basket, put on some boots and get into nature, and for some a fire for foraging is ignited within them, hopefully along with a real fire at this time of year ‘cause it’s real cold!’
It’s also a time of year I find myself baffled and pleading again for people not to eat mushrooms they don’t know and please find a local mushroom expert to confirm in person what you are about to eat rather than rely on online identification.
Mushroom hunting is a dangerous first time foraging sport, and your life is on the line if you are not an experienced mushroom hunter, nothing and I mean nothing substitutes first hand knowledge and years of it!
So please if you are a novice mushroom forager, attend a local course or workshop or ask around for your local mushroom person to identify in the flesh that you have the correct mushroom.
OR better yet come along to one of my workshops and I can teach you how to identify edible mushrooms, beyond a shadow of a doubt for yourself!
Check out our events page for information about our current events, You can also book in for a private tour or why not a gift card for a mushroom foraging friend?
But please be carful out there, I would highly recommend hitting the mushroom books at your local library or joining some facebook identification groups it’s a great source of area specific fungi information.