Brothers and Sisters of the Fungi Fascination! So many of you have reached out about the Agaricusmushrooms I have been gathering this week around Guelph --around the two rivers, truth be told --asking for teachings about how to, when to, where to? I have had a few lovely, lovely in person walk-talk-teach sessions with folks who appeared on my porch, like mushrooms after rain! to forage with me. I have been blessed to be the recipient of so many different profoundly respectful and super smart ecologically sound teachings about foraging and the land --Robin Wall Kimmerer, E.Z.E., Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, my dad, my grandma Jean, my friends in Catalonia with their special baskets that allow the spores to fall back to the Earth... and all this informs how I want to do this labour, and model it as an alternative to some of the truly awful macho "how to's that I've seen on the Interweb": an attitude that seems to conceive of the forest and fields as a sort of grassy outdoor Retail Centre; a Grab-as-much-as-you-can; Grab her by the Pussy view of our common Mother, mother Earth. Oh lordy!
Let's try another way. Let's start with tasting the edibles we are heading out to hunt. If you don't like it, then don't hunt it. It will likely go to waste in your "crisper" alongside the cello-spinach.
Let's bring the spores and organic debris from our food preparations of mushrooms (or partridge, or fish) back to where we found them, and offer that to the water or the soil, with thanks. Let's learn about the life cycle of these fungal brothers and sisters so we can make sensible, sustainable decisions on the spot aboutwhether to harvest or not? Let's learn about the other creatures that also love to eat these morsels --in this case, skunks, birds and worms --and be able to notice when the mushroom in the grass we are eyeing is already something else's lunch. And leave it alone. Let's walk home together with just the right amount in our bags or baskets for our dinner (and some to share with the neighbours, of course) and talk together on the way about what we will cook with them: Zhyfs said: an omelette, Maddy said: Shepherd's pie, Shawna said: with steak! I was aiming for moussaka but ended up making Sopa di Lima to which I added champinon at the very end. People! Let's be accountable to all this. In all this: Make that food. Eat that food. Share that food. It's all a kind of prayer for, and beautifully WITH the Earth.
Blessings and spores.