When I talk to people about foraging, the mental imagery that frequently comes to mind is looking for mushrooms.
There has been a lot of attention in the media recently about the incorrect identification of mushrooms which has lead to sickness and in some cases death.
When I was a kid, it was normal that I would go to the local parks with dad, we’d pick all sorts of mushrooms and take back home to cook up. So what’s changed?
* Is there an old art of identifying mushrooms that’s been lost over time?
* Is there a drastic growth in varieties that are toxic and particularly difficult to identify as inedible?
* Have we simply become a paranoid society?, or (most likely)
* Was my father just stark raving mad and I should thank my lucky stars to be alive?!
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that we have the craziest mushrooms/fungi popping up all over Tilleys Hill Farm and I’m fascinated to know what they are. There was one in particular that I wish I had a photo of, but am looking for another one to get a snap. On the top it was a dark yellow, sponge appearance. When it was opened up and the flesh was exposed to air, the flesh turned electric blue. Now tell me that’s not Mother Nature’s way of saying ‘stay away’!
Below are some of the ones we’ve found that I’m hoping to identify. Does anyone know a mushy nerd that would love to come to Tilleys Hill Farm and help identify what we’ve got growing?