Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wild Foods and Stalking the Shaggy Mane.

E has always been a forager, since the time he could walk he was off...picking things and sampling.  I had to keep a very close eye on him and some things (Foxglove, for example) I decided early on to just completely eliminate from my gardens because I simply could not be sure that he wouldn't sample it.  Here he is when he was a babe, right after his bath, sampling unripe strawberries - something he continued to do up 'til this very Spring.
He eats all manner of things - sorrel leaves in which he rolls up lettuce, currants, handfuls of dill and other herbs; unripe poppy seeds; flower petals; dandelion leaves and much more.  As he grew taller he would sample unripe peaches and, a favourite, tiny unripe apples off of my fruit trees.  So, it didn't really surprise me when early on he showed a fondness for finding and eating wild foods.

He is the first to spot any wild berry bushes when we go hiking.  He loves to learn about different uses for all the different  plants we find growing and we often go out with a identification guide in our hands.  He has been interested in learning more about mushrooms for awhile now so last week when he came in and told me I had to come see a mushroom he had found I went out to see.  I had a look and the name that came to mind was a Shaggy Mane.  We looked it up online and saw that it was, we also learned it was a pretty easy one to identify and that it was edible.  Since he was interested we went to the library and picked up three mushroom identifying books and then came home to learn more.
We sliced it open and double checked in the books that we had the right mushroom.

And we've been finding and eating them almost every night since.  Delicious!  E (and the rest of us) are even more inspired to start finding out more about mushrooms and all wild foods.

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