Mushing Fearlessly (Everything You Need To Know Now)
Let’s face it, mushrooming can be dangerous, but you don’t want it to be. You came to the right place.
Following this mushrooming guide will help you tremendously with mushrooming, otherwise known as mushroom foraging and mushroom hunting.
Advanced mushroom pickers have difficulties with mushroom picking because mushrooms look different for each stage of its development process. There is a wide array of edible mushrooms, and in that wide array, you want to look out for quality, not quantity.
With this mushroom foraging guide, you will know exactly how to identify safe and delicious mushrooms fast.
So, who is the person you are listening to? I am an experienced mushroomer, and I have ten years of mushroom hunting under my belt, and I have never gotten sick from eating a mushroom I picked ever.
Now, as a warning, if you happen to eat a poisonous mushroom(which you won’t with my help) during your mushrooming hunt, it should taste nasty and reeking of noxious smells.
The side effects commonly include mainly intestinal problems and probably just a stomach ache.
Now, that’s enough with the introduction; let’s dive into this mushrooming guide.
Why Should You Do Mushrooming?
Mushrooming is an entertaining experience, like treasure hunting. Mushroom hunting also helps with exercise because you have to bend over consistently.
However, it doesn’t stop there. There is also a monetary incentive. Mushrooms can fetch you up to $50,000 a pound, with Cordyceps Sinensis, costing $50,000 a pound, and many more expensive mushrooms out there.
To add on, mushrooms have a wide array of health benefits, including relieving chronic pain permanently, lowering cholesterol fast, and can serve as treatment and/or prevention of diseases.
Mushrooms are also usually delicious, whether eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, fried, baked, stuffed, or grilled. They will enhance other foods’ taste and have an amazing taste, whether nutty, fruity, or spicy.
What is a Mushroom
These are the essentials. The cap of mushrooms has all sorts of forms; however, you have to care about more under the cap.
You’ll either find gills, tubes, spines, or ridges that release spores under the cap. After that, follows the stalk.
When mushrooming, DO NOT TAKE A MUSHROOM WITH GILLS.
The identification of gills is your number one priority when mushrooming safely. Gills are pretty much what everyone thinks of when thinking of a mushroom.
Gills are blades that “fan-out,” soft, and attached to the stem in with patterns and uniform.
You will also want to look out for forking (splitting from the mainline) once or more(which happens in gills and ridges). Gills can have widely separated blades and tightly packed blades; remember to look for a neat pattern and uniform blades.
For the most part, you don’t want to eat them. However, there are a couple of exceptions.
Identifying Tubes, Spines, & Ridges
Tubes are usually tightly packed with tubes under the cap. The openings are called pores.
Tubes are fine and small(resembling the sponge) and can also be removed from the cap relatively easily.
Spines hang like an icicle from the roof of a cave under the cap.
Ridges are IRREGULAR and form no distinct pattern. They are tough to tear apart from the underside of the cap. This is the most similar to gills, and these can still be distinguished pretty easily from a gill because of its irregular nature.
First off, never eat a mushroom with gill features.
Secondly, don’t eat it if it smells rotten or looks rotten or soggy because they will probably contain worms.
Thirdly, don’t be stupid. Don’t eat the mushrooms raw. If their specimen is considered edible when raw, you still have to wash them thoroughly. Otherwise, cook your mushroom.
They are still edible if cooked right but probably won’t be enjoyed, so this is an absolute last resort. You want to strive to find fresh and seemingly untouched mushrooms.
Fourthly, cut the mushroom. Do not pull them out of the ground; just cut the part above the ground and break it off with your hands if you don’t have a knife on you.
Fifthly, as an additional little tip, when the mushroom is like a bulb, with a huge cap, that makes it extremely difficult to identify, which is sometimes the case, tear a little piece of the mushroom out and check whether it has gills.
The human eye can be deceiving, and I highly recommend using a mushroom-identification app for beginners. These apps will usually give you a general overview and which parts of the mushrooms are edible.
My personal favorite is “Mushroom Identification,” but websites such as iNaturalist does a great job as well.
If your app or website fails to give you clear or accurate information, then it’s not worth picking,
If you have not tried the mushroom you are about to eat, have allergy medication on hand because you never know what you may be allergic to.
To repeat from above, you should always cleanse each of your mushrooms that you forage carefully to ensure that no leftover insect or chemical is left behind. I also strongly advise you to cook your mushroom.
Tools For Mushrooming
To mushroom properly, you need to have the proper tools for the best results.
First, you need a basket or mesh bag. Look, if you want you and others to mushroom next year, then you should get a basket or mesh bag for your mushrooms to spread their spores and repopulate the forest.
Secondly, you need a knife. If you want the cleanest way to extract a mushroom off the ground, this is your solution. You may also damage the underground mycelium if you pluck them, so it’s best to be safe.
Thirdly, you need a topographic map actually to find the mushrooms. Certain types of mushrooms grow at specific elevations and during differing seasons, temperature, humidity, etc.
It’s best to know that you are in the correct zone. Google Maps has a topographic layer that you can use with a device or my recommendation.
Fourthly, a permit where needed. Government land has amazing mushrooms, and the permits will usually limit you to something like 5 gallons of mushrooms per day and a set amount of days per year.
Chanterelles is a common wild edible mushroom with several different species. These are orange, yellow, or white, and funnel-shaped.
These mushrooms do have gills, but as stated above, there are exceptions, and this is definitely one of them.
Chanterelles can be found in North and South America, along with Africa.
These mushrooms usually grow in clusters in coniferous forests (forests consisting of evergreen trees found in areas with long winters and frequent winds.)
These mushrooms can also be sold for about $30 per pound.
The season window is relatively large, and it starts growing in May and ends around October. The best time to pick them is early fall.
Diving into its nutritional value, it looks like every 100 grams, there is, 17.3 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, 4.9 grams of sodium, 3.7 grams of carbs, 0.6 grams of sugar, and 0.8 grams of protein, along with riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, and copper.
So, what does that mean, what health benefits does that bring to you? It improves immune function, improves heart health, reduces cancer risk, and promotes bone health.
Morel mushrooms have honeycomb appearances. They are hollow and have a light color most of the time.
These mushrooms are delicious and wanted by many buyers.
As a result, they can cost upwards of $300 a pound dried, according to Ventured.
These mushrooms can be found across North America and Europe. Their harvest season is a short window, and these mushrooms will appear for a couple of weeks during spring.
At a glance at the Morels nutritional value, it looks like every 100 grams; there are 31 calories, 5.1 grams of carbs, 3.12 grams of protein, 2.8 grams of dietary fiber, and several others.
To add on, Morels have folates, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and D, along with riboflavin, thiamin, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
This mushroom will help eliminate iron deficiency, improve brain function, treat arthritis, improve thyroid health, improve bone health, enhance liver ailments, get rid of diarrhea, and increase vision health.
Fairy Ring Mushrooms
Fairy ring mushrooms or Marasmius oreades are common mushrooms that are generally pretty small.
These mushrooms are generally not that expensive, but you can probably get $10 per pound from some buyers.
These are widely distributed throughout North America and Western Europe. These mushrooms grow mainly in lawns and fields, and in some cases, dunes.
The Harvest season is mainly Summer and Fall because it likes warmer climates.
These also have Gills, but this is another common exception.
Looking at the nutrition, for every 100 grams of the mushroom, there are 30.1 grams of protein, 23.8 grams of dietary fibers, 1.1 grams of fatty acids, and 4 grams of fat, along with amino acids, copper, iron, zinc, folic acids, and antibacterial properties.
Hedgehog mushrooms are widely located around North America, Europe, and Australia. This mushroom has notable spines and is usually yellow, orange, or brown.
This mushroom can cost up to $30 per pound for its notable flavor, unique look, and nutrition.
There is a large window to harvest this mushroom, and they grow during summer and fall.
It doesn’t stop there; it has protein, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, and zinc for its nutrition.
This helps strengthen bones, enhance immunity, increase sex hormones, and even have an anti-tumor effect.
Field mushrooms or Agaricus campestris is located almost worldwide and is found basically where there is grassland. These mushrooms have a noticeable cap, with edible gills.
These are found in Spring, Summer, and occasionally in Fall.
These mushrooms can cost upwards of $20 a pound.
This mushroom is full of vitamin B2(riboflavin), B3(niacin), B5, B6, and B7(biotin), along with pantothenic acid, copper, potassium, along with selenium, and antioxidants.
In 100 grams of this mushroom, there are 2.8 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 1.7 grams of dietary fiber, and sodium.
To sum things up in this mushrooming guide, do not pick mushrooms with gills, and take basic safety precautions when mushrooming. Thank you for reading this article, and I hope to write more content like this soon! Subscribe and follow our social media accounts!