I’ve been humbled. I knew I didn’t know much when it came to local mushroom – I tend to focus on what I know to be safe: shaggy parasols and shaggy manes – but I didn’t realize what I knew was simply a blip in the insanely geeky, mysterious, intriguing, and often tasty world of wild mushrooms. Last night was my first foray with the Alberta Mycological Society. Oh, how I have erred in not participating sooner. The photo on the left – a bolete. 2 were found last night on our hour-and-a-half walk through Whitemud Creek Ravine. And if you wiki that, yes, ‘porcini’ in Italy or ‘cepes’ in France. I knew these were in our province, but I most certainly did not know they grew in a ravine I walked daily for 2-3 years. Crazy.
Check out the 3 min vid for a taste of what the evening was like. We filled bags and baskets with loads of mushrooms. There were so many kinds, and so many latin names being bantered about that I felt like I was in a foreign country. We have an amazing resource in our provincial mycological society’s leadership group, and I intend on trying to absorb a further teenie fraction of what they know on future forays. And yes, those wanting to left with a bag of edible mushrooms. Yum. Check out some of Duncan’s photos here.
As I ran over the fairy ring in my backyard with the mower this morning, I was reminded that I keep meaning to get out and learn about the mushrooms of Alberta. If it’s not a morel or a puffball, I have no idea if they are safe to eat or not. Looks like a LOT of fun!!
The Devonian Botantical Gardens holds mushroom courses in Spring, Summer and Fall. Each focuses on what’s available in our area for the season.
I attended the Spring with my sister and aunt. And they attended the Summer (I had an event to attend). The Fall course wasn’t up when we were registering and missed out.
They fill up VERY fast!
It’s a good course. Teaches how to use the id key in Mushroom ID books and what steps to go through to properly identify a mushroom, as well as some poisonious look-a-likes.
I’ve been meaning to go to a Mycology meeting as well… for well over a year now… and still haven’t made it.
If you need a good wild bush to roam through let me know, my family has lots of land about an hour north of the city that we freely share with foragers (including the mushroom course instructor lol)
I missed out on mushroom courses back in the day and then children came, so never got around to it. I’ll have to add this to my to do bucket list again since I’ve forgotten it.
I was completely floored to see how much mushrooms were on the picnic table in the video! WOW!
TKM – yep, you likely mowed something you could eat. I’m stoked to go again…maybe today…
DK – Great info – thanks! And thanks for the offer to forage on your family’s land.
Maki – it looks like the ‘wannabe mycological society member’ list is long indeed! We weren’t picking everything we found – just trying to get a good variety, so that table could have been much more full. Some types were very prolific. Maybe we’ll end up mushroom-geeking together soon enough!
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Thea got me all excited about this at our meeting last Thursday (again) as you did last year with your Shaggies… and at Eat Alberta we learned that almost all fairy ring mushrooms ARE edible… but check them out first!! Thea told me how – and we had JUST dug out (and thrown out) a huge bag from our lawn for the second time this year – and I knew they could be edible but could not take the chance without the knowledge. The video is fantastic, Kevin. The end with all on the table is gorgeous artistically, too… and I loved seeing children there. Brilliant. We wanted Martin at Eat Alberta last year – and hopefully will get him at our conference this year – but would LOVE to organize a SLOW FOOD guided tour for our members a couple of days this year… and I guess, as Thea says: NOW is the time for our mushrooms. DId you come across the Alberta Porcini?
You’ll be pleased to know that your blog posting made it on to a Facebook group.
Check it out! http://www.facebook.com/groups/30583281556
One of the most common “fairy ring” mushrooms here in Ottawa, Ontario is the Marasmius Oreades, commonly known as the fairy ring mushroom.
It’s an excellent edible and it stores well dried. Once you know it, it is as distinctive as a strawberry when you look for it. This is one well worth watching for on lawns and parks.
Good tip on the Fairy Ring mushrooms, I’ve notices loads of them in my neighbourhood, but have avoided them since they are small and brownish, and we all know how dangerous LBMs can be. I’ll pick a few specimens for closer inspection now. Thanks!
I have those boletes here, lots of them – as well as some white mushrooms that I am pretty sure are regular field mushrooms but not positive. I also found what I think is fly agaric – totally nasty – so I’m exceedingly cautious about trying anything. I did read something at the Mycological society site that the boletes are all safe (I think I am remembering correctly) and they are pretty hard to misidentify but … stilll. I should try a spore print.
I should get to one of the Devonian sessions and learn something!
Nice post ,.
Many of us have no idea about the edible and medicinal mushrooms all around us…but I do. Follow is on any Social Media.