Beginning at 10 am and concluding around 5/6 pm, we will be foraging in different fungal habitats, for example, woodlands of various kinds as well as grassland (exact locations will depend on the quality/quantity of available fungi I spot when doing a recce the day before).
The aim is to provide a general introduction to seasonally available fungi, how to harvest them sustainably and how to utilize them as food and medicine, as well as how to recognise and avoid poisonous species. I will also introduce, with hands on examples in some cases, how to use fungi for other purposes such as painting, dyeing, ink making, paper making.
Whether you have children or not, such an added exploration is a really positive way to introduce fungi to them, bypassing the mycophobic culture of fear that abides in British culture. A 3 course wild-food-based and end-of-forage meal will be provided to finish the day. This will be served either in the woods or around the table indoors, with a range of deliciously cooked seasonal wild mushrooms that you will have collected (so please bring snacks or a sandwich for lunch). We will also work with some excellent fungi identification keys, as well as a range of guide books.
Much of fungi identification using the naked eye rather than microscopes (that is, identification in the field – metaphorically and literally) is about a balance of probabilities that point to a particular species. The keys that we will use are excellent ones that, if used, will greatly aid your on-going confidence in beginning to accurately and systematically correctly identify a particular fungus down to genus level whilst out on your own.
October 18th Fungi Forage and Cook Up (Blean Walk, Clowes Woods, nr Canterbury)