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September 4th, 2013

This past Sunday, Mr Chiots and I attending a mushroom identification class at the Hidden Valley Nature Center.  We spent the morning inside, learning about mushroom identification features.  The class was taught by Greg Marley who wrote the book Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi.
mushroom class 3
After class room time we went out into the woods to forage.  We picked every mushroom we saw and identified them as either edible or not edible. It was a real hands on class about mushrooms, which we really liked.
mushroom class 4
mushroom identification class 3
mushroom class 1
mushroom identification class (1)
mushroom identification class 2
mushroom identification class 1
mushroom identification class 5
mushroom identification class 4
mushroom identification class 6
mushroom identification class 7
mushroom identification class 8
mushroom identification class 9
mushroom identification class
Overall it was a great day and we learned a lot. Mr Chiots and I love mushrooms and are looking forward to finding more wild ones on our property. When it comes to mushroom hunting, a little direction from a professional will certainly give you the peace of mind you need!

Have you ever foraged for wild mushrooms?

10 Comments to “Mushrooms”
  1. Sherri on September 4, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Suzy, I took a similar class a few weeks back and it was really helpful! We did the same thing – a discussion first, then a 1 hour forage in the bush nearby. We were fortunate to have a 25 year veteran of the local mycological society come along to identify the fungi and teach us about what we found. Very interesting class, although it made me realize that the topic is VAST and one class is NOT enough to have confidence in foraging alone. It was recommended that a new forager ALWAYS go with a seasoned forager as there are poisonous mushrooms that look nearly identical to edibles. It was suggested to become skilled at identifying just 1 common edible mushroom at first, then slowly add more species one at a time until you (and your mentor) are confident in your identifying accuracy.

    We have loads of mushrooms in the bush on our land, too and I’d love to gain confidence in foraging for the edible ones. More learning needed!

    Keep us posted about what you find on your land :)

    Reply to Sherri's comment

    • Susy on September 4, 2013 at 7:21 am

      We had a few we were pretty certain were edible before our journey, but wanted to make sure. After our class we knew they were. We have loads of lobster mushrooms and found a ton of puffballs as well last night when we went out looking. We’re hoping to find some hen of the woods on a few big oak trees we have, along with a few oysters this fall. We can now send our identifications to the teacher and he’ll let us know if we’re right or wrong. There’s another mushroom guy that lives very close to us as well, so we might be calling him if necessary.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Rocky on September 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

    For fear of getting sick or even die from poisonous mushroom, I don’t forage so much in the the wild, except maybe occasional Suillus grevillei or more commonly known as larch bolete which is so distinctive therefore easily identified. However, I grow Shiitake mushroom and Oyster mushroom on logs. It’s so much easier and safer than going into woods and taking a chance:) You really should try growing your own.

    Reply to Rocky's comment

  3. Nebraska Dave on September 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Susy, the only mushrooms that folks here hunt are the morel mushrooms. They grow and are foraged in the spring. The easy identification makes it a safe harvest. I’ve only been mushroom hunting a couple times and had a great time.

    Have a great mushroom hunting day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  4. Ken Toney on September 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    We have two mushrooms found in abundance on our farm, morels and chicken of the woods. I’m not a fan of morels and trade them with friends. We love the chicken of the woods, though, and look forward to finding it each year.

    Reply to Ken Toney's comment

  5. Marcia on September 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    My childhood friend`s grandmother used to forage for a few mushrooms with us but I don’t trust my distant memory.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  6. Trish on September 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I adore mushrooms, but am not brave enough to eat wild ones. I remember hearing an interview with author Nicholas Evans who wrote The Horse Whisperer. He, his wife, and relatives consumed poisonous mushrooms and 3 of the 4 of them suffered kidney failure. I read in Peter Mayle’s book ‘A year in Provence’ that the pharmacies in France will id your mushrooms for you to see if they are edible – how cool!!

    Reply to Trish's comment

  7. KimH on September 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I never have.. I’ve always been concerned since the area I used to live in where I could go foraging was filled with poisonous look alikes and I didnt have anyone to teach me or make sure I wasnt poisoning me & mine.

    One of these days, I’d love to take a class like that though.. keeping my eyes open..

    Reply to KimH's comment

  8. AmyS on September 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    only morels here. I’d love to learn more about them. I’ll have to ask our mentor Linda to do one of these classes as well. She’s very knowledgable. It’s amazing how God has provided for us just underneath our noses.

    Reply to AmyS's comment

  9. Claire on September 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    That’s so great that you guys are doing that! It looks like you found a lot of interesting specimens, too. We recently moved to the Pacific Northwest and joined our local Mycological Society. We’ve had great fun tromping around the woods and learning all about the mysterious fungi we find. We really love the book that we have, Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora. It’s over 800 pages stuffed with anything you’d ever want to know, and the author is hilarious. While it can be a bit overwhelming at first, it’s pretty user-friendly once you get used to it. It is, however, a bit West Coast-centric. If you find a good guide book for the East, please post about it! I want to get my family in Indiana more interested in my fun new hobby. Enjoy your lobster mushrooms; we have yet to find any, but we’ve heard they’re delicious!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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