To eat or not to eat? That is the question

I did a short solo foray today in the hopes of getting some early spring oyster mushrooms, but alas, there were none to be had.

I guess those ones that I found about three weeks ago were a fluke, as I have not seen much since them.  Mind you, I did find a couple of very small ones this Monday up Cliff Gilker park.  However they were in a very wet area, and where I went today up along Chapman Creek, it was pretty dry for this time of year.

I did see an Amanita Pantherina , or panther amanita,


and a couple of very large Ganoderma applanatum, or artist’s conk….I added the loony for perspective


Back to the foray today, what I did find were a number of young fiddle heads. They are also know as Brake fern,eagle fern, pasture brake.  I myself have never eaten these, but they were a traditional early spring wild vegetable that was eaten by the first nations people.WP_20150409_14_47_02_Pro WP_20150409_14_56_18_Pro WP_20150409_15_04_22_Pro

In one of my older field guides “Guide to Common Edible Plants of British Columbia” published by the British Columbia Provincial Museum, written by A F. Szczawinski and George A. Hardy.  In that book, they state that this is an edible fern.

However, in a recent book by Duane Sept titled “Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Northwest”, he warns against eating it, as it has been found to have a carcinogenic substance that can cause stomach cancers.

Doing a search of the internet comes up with the same caution. So what to do???

One commentator stated that eating charbroiled hamburgers are also carcinogenic….as well as likely a number of other substance, including alcohol!!!!

I would be interested in comments from any readers of this post to tell me of your own experience with this wild plant.  I will at this point take the advice that I always give to novice mushroom foragers, and that is” if in doubt, throw it out”

Unless you are 100% sure of the identification of the mushroom or any wild foraged plant, don’t consume it.

Fiddle heads are said to have a delicate taste, similar to asparagus….I have a bunch of asparagus in the fridge, which I know is edible and also very tasty.  I think I will cook them up tonight and pass on the fiddle heads.

Hope to see you on the trails some day…coastalshroomer