Put your mushrooms in a basket!
Recently, as part of the Festival Clare-té, we were treated to an afternoon of basket-weaving demonstrations, hands-on practice, and the telling of stories (practical and folkloric) about baskets. One of the presenters was kind enough to share their memories of taking heirloom baskets out to gather mushrooms, part of a family tradition, and included several beautiful photos of the boletes and chanterelles they wildcrafted.
Baskets of all shapes and sizes can be handy for mushrooming: due to the woven nature of these containers, spores from the harvest can be spread as you walk. This promotes the proliferation of these delicious species throughout the area, and is a kind of ‘giving back’ to the forest or field for sharing its delicious secrets with you.
Learning more about two local styles of basket-making, (one, of Mi’kmaq tradition, is made from ash slats extracted by pounding and then peeling the layers of mature trees apart in strips; the other Acadian, woven from the peeled and split roots of spruce trees) is inspiring. Whether you’ve made it yourself or managed to score one from a local artisan, a well-made basket can be a true friend on a fungi foraging foray.
On another note, our friends from Twisted Brook Farm will be at the Wolfville Farmers Market Seedy Saturday event tomorrow, and will have some of our innoculated Grow-Your-Own Oyster Mushroom logs for sale! Thanks to those great folks, and thanks to you for supporting sustainable local food!