I have been trying to find morels for a long time. For years. Last year, I found my first morel on Sauvie Island, but it was my only one. Just one modest mushroom. While I was in North Wales at the cusp of March and April, I kept in touch a forager from South Wales. […]Read more "Burn Morels"
You can’t really dry chanterelles, or so I was told by a guide for the Mushroom Gathering at Breitenbush, a cheerful graying adventurer called Animal. Animal says he dries chanterelles because there are people who want to buy dried chanterelles from him, but the texture is unsatisfactory. It’s better to preserve these choice mushrooms by […]Read more "Freezing Chanterelles"
It’s springtime, which means foraging opportunities are back in full. The prime time for tender leafy greens, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, violets, etc, is passing into a tough fibrous late-stage. But now the spring mushroom season launches. My glee for plants and mushrooms has expanded with the acquisitions of a new phone, the Galaxy S4. With […]Read more "My Morel"
Growing up in Maryland we simply referred to the homestead of our family friend as “the farm.” When I was a kid, the farm had horses for us to ride, hay lofts, cherry trees, sweet corn, and grape vines. On the farm “there are so many different environments, upland, lowland, stream-side, thick humus,” my father explained […]Read more "My Father on Foraging for Ramps"
I’m writing about food foraging for my MFA. I advise others to be extremely careful when foraging for wild food. Avoid poisoning yourself. “When in doubt, throw it out,” and all that. But I can be rash when deciding what to put in my own mouth. My thesis adviser suggested I explore this paradoxical way […]Read more "My Father on Foraging for Berries and Bears"
I’m a terrible forager–a scrappy forager, but a shamefully inefficient one. I don’t have the right equipment or knowledge to preserve what I find. I’m on a tight budget as a grad student, so I don’t have a lot of disposable income to buy foraging accessories. I’m also living in a rented duplex and am […]Read more "10 Items on a Forager’s Wish List"
We’re at the cusp of fall and winter. We have a month to go until the solstice, and yet the air smells like winter and all colors are blue near dusk. The evenings, when they aren’t sodden wet, are smoky from people trying to create little pockets of dry heat and comfort. There’s a tall […]Read more "Persimmon Season"
I get Seasonal Affective Disorder every year. It usually sets in around November, but I’ve made it to December without much struggle before. It’s right on time this year. The switch from Daylight Savings hasn’t helped either. Now, when I get home from work, it’s already dark. I don’t feel any motivation to forage because […]Read more "Honey Mushrooms"
The Breitenbush Mushroom Gathering was the best sleep-away camp ever. My goal was to learn how to identify different Agaricus mushrooms, since I can’t seem to figure it out by myself and a few guide books. There weren’t many Agaricus out in Willamette National Forest, so what I got instead was more chanterelles than I […]Read more "The Mushroom Gathering 2013"
I’ve become pretty obsessed with mushrooms. I’m afraid I’m becoming like my father. It’s not that mushrooms are his thing; he has an appreciation for them, but fungi are not his speciality. I come home with bags of mushrooms and spread them out of the table for inspection and identification, and processing, if they’re edible. […]Read more "I Am My Own Mycologist"