* Sustainable Mushroom Foraging*
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(Continued from previous post)
As promised, here are some guidelines for sustainable, respectful and responsible wild mushroom picking that I learned from my friends who are experienced foragers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🍄Do not overharvest. Take what you need/what you will be consuming within the next 2-3 days as mushrooms tend to go off fast.Obviously do not sell them, and do not buy them,as you don’t want to promote them as a commodity with a market value because that leads to their overpicking and usually via not sustainable practices. ⠀
🍄Use only your hands-do not use rakes and other tools. The only sustainable way to look for mushrooms is to get on your knees and observe the ground, by checking carefully with your fingers.
🍄Make sure you are not interfering with the mycelium by minimising unnecessary digging and moving of the foliage. Do not ruin poisonous mushroom; just because you can’t eat it doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a purpose in the ecosystem.A responsible mushroom hunter is one that leaves no signs of ever being in the area-always leave the place as you found it, put leaves and other foliage back as it was after cutting a mushroom.You get extra points if you pick a few rubbish on your way as well 😉⠀⠀⠀🍄Pick mature mushrooms only as they are more likely to have already released most of their spores.Use baskets instead or bags to collect, to allow the spores from your harvest to disperse around.Also spread your trimmings around instead of taking them home and throwing them in the bin, as spores and trimmings could create new mushrooms! 🍄Get a book to observe the characteristics of the various species, but never rely just on a book or the internet to distinguish edible from non edible mushrooms.Join a local mycological society or an experienced forager to guide you until you feel confident to identify edible species on your own.If you are not 100% sure, then leave it.
I hope these guidelines will help you to enjoy mushroom hunting without causing any harm. Please help spread the word and let me know if you want to share any additional ideas on sustainable wild mushroom harvesting.