Foraging for mushrooms is an exciting and fun activity just about anyone can do. It differs completely from home cultivation, where the benefits of mushroom cultivation kids reign supreme. Rather than cultivate at home, you’re going out in the wild, and you can encounter many situations. There are a ton of safety measures you should take on this adventure, so read on for some tips and tricks for safely foraging for mushrooms.
Know Your Mushrooms
While most of us know some mushrooms are poisonous to eat, you may not know that some are poisonous to touch. You’ll be touching—and presumably eating or studying—a ton of fungi as you forage. Because of the dangers, you have to utilize your knowledge of mushrooms to help you decide what to pick and what to leave alone.
While you could rely on your internal knowledge bank for this, it’s not the best choice since there are hundreds of fungi in the wild. Instead, use a foraging app on your smartphone that can tell you about the mushrooms you’re foraging and even filter by state. You can also buy a regional foresting guide to help you. Besides that, make sure you spend some time studying fungi. It could save you from ingesting the wrong finds.
Have the Right Tools
Without a rundown of the tools, no article about mushroom foraging tips and tricks would be complete. You’ll need some equipment to get started on your mushroom journey.
Bring a container, like a wicker or mesh basket, for your finds. Did you know wicker baskets are thought to allow spores to fall from the gills to the forest floor? Mushroom collecting is about being responsible and giving back to the ecosystem. When you use wicker or mesh, spores can fall back to the forest floor and repopulate. Here are some tools to bring on your adventure:
- A pocket knife to cut stems
- A brush to clean debris off stems and gills
- A permit when foraging on federal land
Use Your Mushrooms
When you’re foraging, you may gather more than you can handle. Don’t worry! You can find many uses for fungi after foraging. With mushroom cultivation kits, you can use the spores to create more mushrooms at home. Preserve them by freezing them in vacuum-sealed bags, or eat them in your best dish. The point is to always use what you forage. This is one of the best tips we can offer.