Sunday, November 6, 2011


I've been out foraging during the last few weeks which gives me a reason to get up early when I have no work. Walking in fields on crisp sunny mornings puts a smile on my face and I get a real buzz when I find free food.

We still have wine fermenting and loads of jars of jam made from foraged fruit we found last last summer. Now we're into autumn we're finding wild mushrooms ripe for picking in plentiful supply in neighbouring fields.

I must admit, though, my other half will be glad when the season's over. He's getting a bit fed up of home made mushroom soup daily and something with mushrooms every night for tea.

We did spot some of these beauties :

If I'd mixed those into any of my recipes then both my other half and me would be chasing white rabbits all night. My mates who come foraging with us reckoned they were poisonous but it seems not in a way that will kill you if the dose is right

The magic variety of mushroom - the liberty cap - is no longer legal to pick. The local council used to spray commons and local beauty spots to kill them so the hippies couldn't have fun and as I haven't seen any on these morning walks, I wondered if they'd all been killed off.

I do think it's wrong to destroy these things and I hope councils think hard before they do go all knee-jerk reactionist in response to any sightings.

Even magic mushrooms are all part of the fauna and flora after all. The author of the website where I found information on the Alice in Wonderland Fly Agaric says some of the root systems they grow from have been there for hundreds of years and it's quite arrogant for councils to just nuke them because the idea of hallucinogens growing naturally doesn't fit political anti-drugs ideology.

I suppose they can't keep telling us the planet is so valuable, wildlife is so vital, and the food chain and natural order of things needs to be maintained at all costs while selecting which bits of nature to make extinct because it suits them.

Meanwhile, I'll be researching what other food can be found free in the countryside in the time I have left to get out there and look for it. I reckon my foraging fun will be over come the end of the month as dark and gloomy December kicks in and the frost in the morning begins to bite.