Monday, the three of us took a family foraging hike up one of our local mountains. We chose an upland muskeg bog as our primary goal, to finally check whether or not bog cranberries grew there. Secondarily, we sought anything edible we chose to gather. As a result, things got a little topsy-turvy.
The cartoonist, Charles Shultz, may have summed up the the human condition in one comment when he had his character, Charlie Brown, complain: “Everything I do makes me feel guilty!”
When we became mushroom foragers almost 10 years ago, we basically started from scratch, relying heavily on the knowledge and guidance of family and neighbor-friends who collected mushrooms. As our knowledge and experience grew, we continued conferring with those who knew more. Still two critical questions continued to arise:
- Is it better to pick mushrooms whole, or to cut the stems?
- Is it possible to over pick mushroom patches?
Answers to these questions varied, but inevitably, it boiled down to “I don’t know.”
I just found an article that seems to lay both these questions to rest in very satisfying ways.