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WILD MUSHROOMS
Tue 24-May-11
9:08 am
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Noncitydweller
Lincolnshire

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After moving to the countryside I immediately started to look for ways to live More frugally.
This included wild Mushroom picking. Here is my views. Now no doubt we are going to hear some counter statements which will basicaly be don't do it but couched in statements like my father said this and I know someone etc etc. If you think this way don't get involved in this blog (is that the right term)

 

1st The majority of things you here about wild mushroom picking is rubbish, utter rubbish. The normal idiotic statement is "All toadstools are poisonous" and all mushrooms aren't this is not just rubbish but dangerous rubbish.
2nd There is no scientific difference between a mushroom and a toadstool.
3rd The words are often used interchangeably. One book will have a variety as a toadstool another will call it a mushroom.
4th There are far more poisons mushrooms than poisonous toadstools although not proportionally. There are edible toadstools.

5th the categories are:-
Edible

Inedible (either taste horrible or is not cook able and sometimes counted as inedible at later stage of growth)

Suspicious (the sort of thing one village would say was poisonous while another would say it wasn't)

Poisonous (bad guts)

Very poisonous (very bad guts, possibly kill a young child, an elderly or already sick person)

Deadly poisons  (1 mushroom can kill 8 people) In the case of deadly fungi (the proper name) most deaths occur when a person does not go to hospital within 24 hours (about 50%) the remainder need a kidney and liver transplant. There are 3 deadly fungi Death Cap and destroying Angel. The 3rd is Inocybe papatouillardii (no common name) all the Inocybe though are poisonous to very poisonous. Also they all look very similar so you just avoid them end of story.

Note the majority of poisoning are caused by the yellow stainer (not deadly) which is mistaken for a field mushrooms (very similar) or the horse mushroom (not very similar). This epitomize just how silly people can be A/ it does not grow in the same habitat B/ It is very easy to identify it (yellow stain at the base when picked)

my rules
1/ Have 2 books. Firstly a Collins Gem. This is a pocket book with about 200 fungi in them. All the poisonous all the edible and a lot of poisonous/very poisonous. Plus a lot of the weird looking mushrooms. The second should be a large, A4 size for instance with lots pictures instead of drawings. You use this to do a final check when you get home. (Peter Jordan mushroom's pickers foolproof field guide for instance) These tend to have much smaller amount variety of fungi in them IE all the normal edibles, poisonous, deadly poisonous. About 90 fungi in total.
2/ personally I never make a meal with more than 1 variety of mushrooms in it. As it would be difficult to say which one poisoned you and more importantly was it deadly.
3/ Specialize. Keep your choice to maybe 10 edible mushrooms and get them from the same place all the time. The latter is also the best way to find them anyway. Over time you can increase the amount of types you go for but be in no rush to do so.
4/Record everything so you can find them again instead of walking round blind each year.
5/ Enjoy.

Tue 24-May-11
9:49 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Hi JB. Welcome to the forum. waveI think you will find most of us on here would fall into the category of foragers and so not likely to worry too much, in fact there has been the odd post on picking mushrooms before. I think your idea of deciding on 10 edible mushrooms you really know and stick with them is a good idea, so far we have around two but they are nice mushrooms and plenty of them so that suits us. We got into mushroom hunting when we went with a Latvian friend who has been foraging for mushrooms for a long time.

Another tip is if it turns blue when cut then it is probably not too good for you.cheers

Tue 24-May-11
5:14 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Good first post, JB. Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed guide.

Around here, most of our wild mushrooms in season come from the local stud farms although we do not pick them ourselves.

I guess it is up to each and every reader to decide for themselves as to the potential risks and whether or not to go foraging for edible mushrooms. The two books you mention sound like a good place to start.

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 24-May-11
6:14 pm
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SumpRat
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Excellent post.

I take the attitude of if you're not sure, don't try  until you are.

 

However, I am very sure  about giant puff ball. Love them. Thick sliced and lightly fried  in butter. Yummy

 

SR 

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Fri 27-May-11
4:20 pm
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Noncitydweller
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SumpRat said:

Excellent post.

I take the attitude of if you're not sure, don't try  until you are.

 

However, I am very sure  about giant puff ball. Love them. Thick sliced and lightly fried  in butter. Yummy

 

SR 

 First time I found giant puff balls they were about to "puff" I found them in a wood and there was loads & loads of them. I also found them right out in the open. The latter outside had passed it, that is when you cut through them they should not tare. When I went back the next year there was not one puffball in the woods they had been replaced entirely by yellow stainers. I of course put a lot of effort into killing all the yellow stainers and hopefully the puffballs will be back this year. 

 

  Although I note down where everything I have found on my computer, one big failing with this system¦..remembering to check, even when I put the computer on to check I forget to do it. So I am going back to the old method I am going to print everything of and put it into a folder at least that way when I think about it I can just get the folder out. (My epilepsy does not do my memory a lot of good). And do the same with Sloes apples and elderberries (never done elderberry wine so I am going to try it this year)

 

  Anyone notice what a poor year we have had for St Georges Mushrooms I have had two I was hoping for a kilo or two. I have bought a dehydrator for mushrooms and tomatoes¦¦and for anything else for that matter.

    Well must go and look at the few toms I have put out they don™t look happy all white leaves not happy at all.

Fri 27-May-11
4:25 pm
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JoannaS
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Dried mushrooms are fantastic, they pep up so many dishes along with the dried tomatoes and dried peppers. We had a very tasty winter cheers

Fri 27-May-11
5:18 pm
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JoannaS said:

Dried mushrooms are fantastic, they pep up so many dishes along with the dried tomatoes and dried peppers. We had a very tasty winter cheers

 

Do you use a dehydrator??

Fri 27-May-11
5:20 pm
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JoannaS said:

Dried mushrooms are fantastic, they pep up so many dishes along with the dried tomatoes and dried peppers. We had a very tasty winter cheers

 

To test the machine when it arrived (last month) I just put a peice a bacon in and cut two bog standard toms in cut in half. Never managed to leave the room before I had eat them. They weren't even left in for the full time.

Sat 28-May-11
7:37 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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We use our dehydrator every season, JB, for toms, mushrooms and loads more. Like Joanna said, the dried stuff adds great flavour to winter slow cooked dishes.

Our kitchen sounds like a ladies' hair salon for weeks on end!

Your idea of recording the locations of various forageable food is excellent. Fiona has a great memory so i rely on that and it works for us.

We were given a puff ball for the first time last year. It went a long way.i_am_hungry

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 28-May-11
8:30 am
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SumpRat
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Haven't tried it yet but you can make a nice meal out of a giant puffball. Slice top off and scoop out the middle. Then mix that up with sautéed veg (or mince) etc. Place back in 'shroom and bake.

 

Supposed to be rather good, here is a nice looking recipe.

 

SumpRat 

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Sat 28-May-11
9:07 am
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    HELP not as yet stored dried food. Most I intend on not putting in oil etc. So what is the best way of making them last as long as possible. My freezer had about 70 apple crumbles in one time (not sure I like apple crumble anymore) so unlikely to have room there. I am mostly interested in getting them to last as long as possible without going moldy (does that happen).  Thanks JB  

Sat 28-May-11
2:33 pm
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Danny
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JB, we use a combination of airtight jars and heavy duty grip seal plastic bags 7" x 10". Both seem to do a great job. Obviously, oil would give a longer shelf life without a doubt.

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 28-May-11
6:24 pm
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SumpRat
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Vacuum pack. There are some nice vacuum pack systems now available. Something I want to get. 

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Mon 30-May-11
10:47 am
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Danny
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SumpRat said:

Vacuum pack. There are some nice vacuum pack systems now available. Something I want to get. 

Snap.

Fiona read or heard somewhere that vac packed food, stored in the freezer, lasts for a lot longer than any other method.

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 30-May-11
11:02 am
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danast
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wave  I have a vacuum packer and would swear by it.  I use it especially for the freezer, mainly for game.  Lasts for a very long time and no danger of freezer burn.  Very safe indeed.   But I would also use it to prolong the fridge life of foods.  

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