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How to go Mushroom Foraging this Autumn (if you live near Sydney)

March 12, 2014 | Foraging, Mushroom Cultivation, Mushrooms | 9 comments | Author:

‘Tis the season to go shrooming! Autumn is the time of year that all the pine mushrooms pop their heads up on the forest floor, offering a feast of fungi goodness.

But how do you do it? How do you know what to pick and what to avoid? Aha. There are ways, my friends. And here’s two good ones… 

me-n-mushrooms

Option one: Wild Stories mushroom foraging tours

These are led by our friend and weed-master Diego Bonetto. His tours leave from inner-west Sydney at 7am (you jump on a minibus and off you go) throughout this Autumn.

If you’re a complete mushroom foraging newbie, might we suggest this option as a good one, to turn you into a confident identifier of what and what not to pick. More info here…

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Saffron Milk Caps and a few Slippery Jacks from the forests around Oberon

Option two: Oberon Visitor’s center

Oberon is a little town about 3 hours from Sydney, over the back of the Blue Mountains. It’s surrounded by state pine forests, and hence, lots of pine mushrooms.

And it just so happens that the Oberon Visitor’s center is filled with super-friendly folk who know lots about mushrooms, and love sharing their knowledge.

The staff there can give you the rundown on saffron milk caps and slipper jacks – and they’ll point you in the direction of where around the local forests to forage. More info here…

** update: Permaculture Sydney North

…also have a mushroom foraging day happening on April 6th, for those happy to get themselves to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains to meet the rest of the group. More info here…

Our latest haul of field mushrooms from the paddock near our house. Note the opinel mushroom foraging knife! Great little piece of kit, that one.
Our latest haul of field mushrooms from the paddock near our house. Note the opinel mushroom foraging knife! Great little piece of kit, that one.

Mushroom hunting is like any other foraging, really. The first time you do it, it’s all a bit confusing and you’re not quite sure if this is the right mushroom, or not.

Which is why getting good advice at the start is a darn fine idea, and a good investment for your family’s foraging future.

Once you’re confident you know what saffron milk caps or slippery jacks look like, however, you’re off and away.

It’s like any wild harvesting: do your research, find out what could go wrong (are there any poisonous lookalikes of the species you’re foraging, and what are those lookalikes’ characteristics that you need to be aware of), and then get going.

As with any and all food gathering, if you’re not sure, don’t eat it.

We learned how to confidently identify saffron milk caps and slippery jacks (two common pine mushrooms in NSW state pine forests) from our mate Paul Ward, and now, we’re mushroom tragics.

Any autumn road trip after rain that takes us past a pine forest will see us stopping here and there, “just for a quick look”. This usually yields a small bag of goodness, and then we’re off to our destination.

Life is better with foraged mushrooms. And its a craft to be passed on, too. Might we recommend you get out there this Autumn, learn to ‘shroom, and add another skill to your family’s foraging backpack.

We run mushroom cultivation courses in Sydney and beyond, for future backyard mushroom growers! If you’re dreaming of adding organic home-grown mushrooms to your family’s diet, have a look at our upcoming courses here…

And afterwards... dry the surplus for year-round mushroom soupy goodness.
And afterwards… dry the surplus for year-round mushroom soupy goodness.


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9 COMMENTS


  • deweysanchez March 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply

    I did this for the first time in our autumn and loved it. We went predominantly for septs (of which slippery jack I one). I can strongly recommend a penny bun mushroom salt and pepper and then grilled with a slice of chorizo on top *yum*


  • SLL March 12, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Reply

    Hohhot are these dried slippery jacks?


    1. milkwoodkirsten March 13, 2014 at 9:14 am | Reply

      actually no they’re dried shiitakes – dried slippery jacks here: http://milkwood.net/2012/05/04/easy-mushroom-foraging-slippery-jack-suillus-luteus/


  • Izabella Hyde March 13, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply

    Fantastic story!

    Team FinSki’s did their first forage for the year just last week! We got some beautiful Slippery Jacks. Sarrfon Milk Caps were just starting to show up!

    We are very much looking forward to the season as well!

    PS…don’t forget to watch us and Lyndey Milan forage for mushrooms in Oberon on her new show called Taste of Australia – May 25th at 1.30 pm on channel 7TWO !


    1. milkwoodkirsten March 13, 2014 at 11:12 am | Reply

      Exo! I wanted to add you guys to this post but I thought from your site that you’re not doing guided tours this Autumn – is that right? Let me know if you are?


  • Izabella Hyde March 13, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply

    We will be but Blondie and I would like to see what the season is like first.

    If we do a tour we would like for those that come to have an amazing forage and for there to be plenty of mushrooms about :) There were a few times last year when we thought the mushrooms were out…and they were in hiding!

    We are looking at one on the 2nd of May with the new members of the YFM.

    Would love it if you could join our FB page for the Lyndey Milan show!

    Can I post a link to it?

    x


    1. milkwoodkirsten March 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply

      Sure! Bring on the foraging – And do let us know if you end up doing a public forage (i’m sure thats not the term but you know what i mean) so we can pass on the info? x


  • theweedone March 14, 2014 at 11:26 am | Reply

    thanks for the shout out Kirsten! As always, so generous with your time :)
    Hey Bella, would be great if you get out in the forest too, so many mushrooms put there and the more we are teaching the better use we have of such resource.

    Bring them on :))


  • Izabella Hyde March 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Reply

    Well hello theweedone! :)

    I totally agree with you about the teaching aspect as well.

    I have to say that I do find it very frustrating when I hear or read in the papers etc about why people should not go for foraging and how many dangers there are associated with it.

    Gosh…in Poland it is something that was passed on from generation to generation…this is how I learnt all about mushroom picking since I can remember. My 8 year old can identify slipperys and saffrons now!

    ps Kirsten the link to our FB event page is …

    https://www.facebook.com/events/607342976021118/

    We would love to have as many as possible watch the show!

    Love your work guys! :)



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