About 20 people gathered at a local woodlot near Springhill, NS a few Saturdays ago, to attend a mushroom foray organized by EAC Food Coordinator – Cumberland, Su Morin. The weather couldn’t have been nicer and no mosquitoes were in sight, making it a glorious day to be in the great outdoors. The walk was lead by John Crabtree, a longtime member of the NS Mycological society, with over 30 years experience mushrooming. http://www.nsmushrooms.org/
I had no idea that mushroom species were so diverse. During our walk in the woods, over 20 species were uncovered by workshop participants – unfortunately, the majority were non-edible.
Even after a lifetime of experience, Crabtree noted that he has barely scratched the surface of mushroom identification and warned to always err on the side of caution when foraging for mushrooms in the wild. He recommended consulting several field guides before eating any mushroom collected in the wild. John also demonstrated the technique of spore sampling, a tool used to help with positive identification of the genus of the mushroom. He lamented that it is much easier to discern what is not edible, than what is.
The mushrooming group is planning to meet again next year for a Chanterelle Mushroom hunt, which would take place earlier in the Fall, as well as to host a mushroom farming workshop in February, which will teach folks how to inoculate logs to grow their own Shitakes. We will report back with the results! ‘Til then…have fungis and galz!
For more info. on edible mushrooms in Nova Scotia see:
Mushroom in featured image: Tylopilus felleus (Bitter Bolete)
Photos by: Catherine Bussiere