Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Thursday, 18 October 2012 07:52
Yesterday I was delighted to have had a relaxed business meeting with a colleague at our stunning woodland site in the glorious Kent countryside. We met in Egerton village with the Land Rover containing a brew kit and, of course, Inca before driving the 12 minutes or so to the secluded location. Once through the gate and driving along the woodland track we started to notice the odd parasol mushroom – this soon turned into seeing thousands of them!
I will never forget an afternoon of fishing the river Eden near Chiddingstone with my father as a kid, we left late in the afternoon as the sun was getting low in the sky to travel back to our home in the village of Weald near Sevenoaks. En route my dad suggested that we stop at a place he knew might be good for field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) – he was not wrong the field was covered in them! We soon collected enough (to be precise we collected 27lb) in no more than 20 minutes, these we shared with friends and family and this was probably the largest feast of mushrooms Weald village has ever known! This is a very fond memory and something we talk about every year when we find the first of the field mushrooms.
Yesterday’s meeting and walk through our glorious woodland site is set to be another fond memory, but this time about parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera). The woodland was littered with them every few paces, when I say there were thousands of them growing it is no exaggeration! We walked and explored much of the 100 plus acres we have at our disposal, but of course we only covered a small proportion of the area, and there were parasols aplenty!
Martin who accompanied me took home a bag of only the very finest specimens along with a nice amount of wood blewits (Clitocybe nuda) that I am sure will he will enjoy cooking into a veritable feast.
We also discovered another pond in the woods that appears to have a healthy fish population and we will explore this in the warmer months when the fish will once again be nearer the surface, but I suspect that the population includes rudd and some carp.
Enjoy the autumnal colours, wildlife and food opportunities but be especially careful if handling, picking and eating any mushrooms or fungi - misidentification is quite common and can have fatal consequences!
Please note, when foraging “If in doubt leave it out” – never take chances with wild foods!