Why Foraging for Food is Fun and Rewarding
Years ago when I was finding my way into the mountain lifestyle and learning about the culture that accompanies it, I learned about mushroom picking. It was explained to me how in the autumn was the best time to go and that folks would wander in the forest off the beaten track to discover patches of mushrooms.
There were people who foraged for their livelihood and had certain patches mapped out and would return to this patch time after time to harvest their bounty. Other people simply gathered mushrooms for their own kitchen and not to make a profit. Being an absolute lover of hikes, I knew that mushroom picking was something I would find extremely fun.
It wasn't until I actually got out into the forest that I realized just how much fun it really was and how positively rewarding it felt to gather my own mushrooms. A whole new appreciation was gained for the pickers and especially the mushrooms and their forest home which they grow in.
It wasn't right away that I was taken under the wing by someone as mushroom picking can be competitive for those who use it to earn a living. I always understood this aspect and never wanted to push anyone into showing me how to pick.
Finally after some years of patience I was shown how and realized how easy it is. I was always reluctant to try picking on my own as I wanted to be sure of the mushroom I was picking. One can become very ill if they eat the wrong mushroom and even touching some mushrooms or going to close to them can cause them to spread their poisonous spores onto you.
Although picking is quite easy I was happy to have someone really show me the ropes and how to harvest with care. Like all things in life, we also must be aware to leave some of the bounty alone so that mother nature is not completely disturbed by our human interaction.
Finally into the Picking World!
This fall I was lucky enough to get out into the forest with some really experienced pickers who explained to me every detail they follow in order to safely pick. Details include, using a compass, a radio, coordinates of where your car is and always picking in pairs so that you have a buddy system to fall back on.
You wouldn't necessarily believe it until you experience it, but it is so incredibly easy to get lost in the mushroom picking zone and get completely turned around and possibly lost if you are not careful. It can be especially dangerous if a fog rolls in or if you are picking on a rainy day and do not have the sun to guide you. A compass is your friend and savior in this case.
After this learning day me and a friend went out together a couple weeks after and our day was well spent today foraging for mushrooms. We found a good amount to keep us happy and inspired to search into further depths for next time.
I felt so much pleasure as I tromped through the forest inhaling the freshest of air and listening to the slightest sounds created by the small creatures abound.
There was some time where I was barely finding much and felt a little discouraged. Pushing forward, I stayed positive and reminded myself this was only my second time getting out to find some treats.
As I practiced creating a positive attitude the timing was impeccable because it wasn't long after when I stumbled upon a large patch of chanterelles along with some chicken of the woods growing near by.
I realized in that moment that it was just like life, when you are feeling like nothing much exciting is going on just hang in their a bit longer and surely the time will pass and excitement will find you! Have you had any experience picking? What is your favorite mushroom recipe?
We used some of our mushrooms to create a delicious Coconut Mushroom Soup! I will soon be adding many of my vegan, sugar free, and gluten free recipes to this website so please check back soon or even subscribe to my email list to get an update.
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