Get Picking this Autumn
Autumn is upon is – and although it means saying goodbye to those balmy summer nights, it does mean we can turn our minds to something else: mushrooms. Time to get off the hammock, and in to the woods for some foraging.
Wild mushrooms are abundant in Britain and Ireland. They flourish in the warm, wet month of September and can continue right through the autumn. And whether it’s dinner you’re after, or simply a new unknown species, there is a whole other world to be discovered scrambling around on the forest floor.
But to make sure the goods that you bring home, won’t be your last supper, there are some essential guidelines to follow:
- Wear disposal gloves when touching mushrooms.
- Don’t mix mushroom types in the same container.
- Don’t wrap mushrooms in cling film, but paper – they need room to breathe.
- Examine each mushroom carefully for insects, slugs or grubs. If the mushroom has been nibbled in any way, discard.
- Ignore folk tales on mushrooms like ‘Poisonous mushrooms are brightly colored’ – in contrast, two of the most deadly are white and brown.
- Be careful if you are a pet owner and want to take the dog foraging – they are the highest on the list of victims of poisonous mushrooms.
- Do not leave the house without a mushroom field guide to help you identify mushroom types.
Recommended mushroom books: