Its looking like the season is in full swing now.

What a great weekend we had last week. The weather was great, there we mushrooms to pick, mushrooms to show and mushrooms to cook!

Our sixth annual meeting happened last weekend and was a great success.  We had more people come  through the hall than any year to date and our membership continues to grow.

Our guest speaker this year was Taylor Lockwood who gave two presentations, titled “Spirits of the Forest”.  The presentation was a 56 minute show, filmed and edited by Taylor who also wrote and scored the soundtrack for the film.  The show featured Taylor on a world wide quest to find and film bio-luminescent mushrooms. In his quest he traveled to  Brazil, China, Madagascar, New Zealand, Australia and America. Taylor’s presentation was both  fascinating and educational.

Last Sunday, our local experts lead a group of over 30 people on a foray into the local woods. After the foray,m they returned for a demo and cook-up of some of the edibles. I was in my glory as I got to do some of the demos and cooked up several dishes made with some of our choicest wild mushrooms.20141019_14483820141019_152253

In the dish on the lower right are shaggy grey parasols, which I sauteed with onions, garlic, herbs, white wine  then added sour cream; on the far left are  admirable boletes served in an alfredo sauce which would be great on perogoies; at the top are golden chanterelles, simply pan fried and served on toasts; in the middle was one large King Bolete or porcini, pines and saffron milkcaps that were  grilled on the BBQ.  I also sliced then steamed pines in the rice cooker on a bed of rice.

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There was also had a delicious wild mushroom medley beautifully cooked in a soup, served with truffle oil and sour cream…..yummmmm!

Back to our what Ifinding out there, well this has been a month where I have’t picked in the quantities that I did in previous year, but there has been more diversity.

Lets start with colour..Amanita muscaria …there seem to be more this year than I have seen in previous years and in more places..

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The apricot coloured aminita

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A blue capped poplypore

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A pinky-purplish polypore that was new to me…Fomitopsis cajanderi

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The beautiful Bristly Pholiota – Pholiota squarrosoides

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Then to the darker ones like these admirable boletes – Boletus mirabilis,…. they are just beginning out there

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Just this last week we have been invaded by three species, the Russula’s just about everywhere and in the last last couple of days gypsies and lactarius deliciousus

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This has also been an incredible year for the Western Cauliflower Mushroom -Sparassis radicata. There was  rumor of finds as big as 16 pounds!! I have usually had luck and found  at least one every year, but this year, I have just found stubs where others have already harvested some.  I was having my hair cut by John the barber just yesterday , and he told me he had found a nice large fresh one just a few days ago. He is Korean, and his wife told me that they dried their find and then make a tea out of it…that is how they like it best.  Clara also says that making tea is one of their favorite ways of eating the  matsutake or Tricholoma Magnivelare…dried, then made into a tea, drinking the tea, then using the dehydrated mushrooms in  a soup.

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There is variety in species, in some cases quite a few to harvest; the temperature is dropping; the forest floor is finally getting the moisture it needs and in my humble opinion, the season is just about to really begin.

I will be off the coast for the week coming up, but when I get back, I plan on leading a couple of forays a week with our scshroom members. Keep checking your emails for details.

Let me know where you would like to venture and I will see what we can organize.

Good hunting out there, remember to respect our forests, walk gently, harvest wisely and I hope to see you on the trails some day. Coastalshroomer.

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