Foraging Baby Steps

I’m not a wilderness food forager by any measure, but I’m making baby steps in that direction. This weekend I found a new-to-me mushroom, the shaggy mane, growing in a patch of well-rotted wood chips. There was also a small, dense puffball (growing rather later than most) nearby.

Puffball on the left, Shaggy Manes on the right

A few of the shaggy manes were overripe, so I had to trim off dark frills, but I didn’t pick any that had gone fully blackened. Rachel and I both preferred them over puffballs, but I’m not sure that they’d truly rate as any kind of culinary delicacy. So for now, my three edible mushrooms on the farm are: chanterelles in summer, puffballs in September, and Shaggy Manes in October.

The mushroom at the left edge of the frame is overripe, showing ink on the lower frills. Two days later it had ink all the way up to the top.

Philistine though the admission reveals me to be, none of these mushrooms do much for me. I don’t think anyone actually enjoys puffballs, but I know that some people gush over chanterelles. Perhaps the problem is in my palate; more likely the problem is in my cooking skill. I’ll still keep trying to enjoy them. I like the idea of liking these mushroom varieties.

2 thoughts on “Foraging Baby Steps”

  1. Hi Dave
    I have so many different fungi growing around my property, I have often wondered whether I should buy a book to identify those that are edible. Your post has reassured me, I do not particularly like any other mushrooms beside the button type, so for now I’ll remain a non forager and use my research time learning more about caring for my honey bees.

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