Foraging for wild mushrooms can be an enriching and rewarding experience shared with friends and family. However, knowing which ones are edible and safe is a skill that requires thorough knowledge of the different types found in the wild.
Gumtree provides the following tips for beginners who are interested in mushroom foraging.
- Educating yourself is the first step when you begin hunting for mushrooms. Eating the wrong species can lead to nausea or even liver failure in extreme cases. The rule of thumb is this: if in doubt, throw it out. Read up and familiarise yourself with the natural characteristics of the different types of wild mushrooms before foraging.
- It is recommended to never eat wild mushrooms raw. Instead, cook them gently to make them more digestible and unlock their nutrition value.
- If you decide to venture into a forest looking for wild mushrooms, we encourage you to carry a mushroom-identification chart for quick access in figuring out which mushrooms are safe and which are not. There are also smartphone apps that you can use.
- Now that you have the knowledge and information you need, it is time to go into the wild. We recommend carrying the following gear: mesh bag or basket, pocketknife or Swiss Army knife, brush (to clean the gills and pores), water and snacks. Other items for a more comfortable foraging experience are bug spray, map, GPS tracker, trowel and a walky-talky.
- Once you pick your mushrooms, it’s time to enjoy them! Sauté them in butter and garlic or use them in your favourite kind of pasta!
- Mushroom foraging can be an addictive activity and chances are you have picked much more than what you can eat in one sitting. We recommend investing in a food dehydrator or vacuum sealer to store them safely.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local home and garden information close to home.