Hey, with fall rains comes ‘shrooms poppin’ up everywhere! Will they kill you if they eat them? Maybe. But, some of them are really great to eat. My wife, Karen, and I have been picking, eating, and preserving mushrooms for years. Sometimes they even come up in your gardens and lawns. What do you do? What we did is learn to correctly identify one “easy” mushroom, and then learned another. Now we realiably (=we’re still alive) up to identifying over 30 species of fungi. It is easier than you think. North Americans seem to be “fungiphobiacs” – afraid of eating ‘shrooms (actually afraid of anything), anyone recall the precurser South Park cartoon, “History of America”? If you can tell the difference between a deer and an elk, you can reliably learn to distinguish mushrooms, and discover an entire world of yummy, free food.
I have provided a two page document for beginning mushroom hunters at this link: http://wasatchgardens.org/resource/eight-types-edible-types-mushrooms. It is very basic, but then everyone needs to start somewhere, just like Karen and I did 30 years ago (=aprox. one species per year?) – not bad. The scientific name of this year’s new species is Latarius delicious. Hello…… It is carrot orange, extremely numerous in the Uinta Mountains right now, bruises greenish blue, and looks like it will kill you outright – not! It is one of the most “delicious” things I’ve ever eaten, but I’ve been walking past droves of them for years.
Learn them one at a time by hanging out with people who know and harvest them and “you’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, because, because, …..” ” Keep your hands in the car, and screeming is allowed!” I usually screem, “Hey check this one out!!” Note: There are no poisonous puffballs in the world, so maybe start there. Some grow to over 15 pounds, are easy to spot, taste great, and you sometimes need a pickup truck to carry all of them you can find.
I will be doing a seminar and foray during the Kokanee Salmon Days event at the Strawberry Reservoir Visitor’s Center on September 17th or 18th. Call me for more info at 801-596-1536, and check out the link on my two rules to hunting ‘shrooms. Hope to see you and the salmon on that weekend.