Foraging For Fungi

Foraging has now become so popular that it's not unusual to find television programmes devoted to the subject. Martyn Loach says this isn't surprising as foraging for mushrooms is free, fun and your harvest can be extremely tasty.

Created by Martyn Loach on Wednesday, 26th of August, 2015.
Updated on Friday, 19th of April, 2019.


All sorts of people now go out to replenish their pantry and freezer with free food from the wild rather than pay for it in a supermarket.

There's far less stress and the food can't be fresher. You also get the health benefits from being outside in the fresh air, walking across fields and through woods rather than pushing a trolley down a crowded aisle.

So when you go down to the woods today, perhaps it's not such a great surprise to find people seeking out mushrooms, wild garlic, nuts, nettles and berries.

Fungi is Favourite

Fungi seems to be top of most forager's shopping list, there are many species in Britain although what we refer to as mushrooms are in fact the fruit of the mycelium organism that is hidden underground.

And, as we all should know, picking wild mushrooms comes with a health warning.

With names such as 'Death Cap', 'Destroying Angel', 'Funeral Bell', 'The Sickener', you should really be on your guard. Without prior knowledge it would be all too easy to mistake a poisonous 'Ivory Funnel' with a tasty 'Common Funnel'.

A further complication is that some will give you a stomach ache when raw but are edible if cooked.

If you're old fashioned, take a guide book with you, although many of us will have access to a smart phone app.

There are rich pickings in the autumn, and the correct way to harvest mushrooms is to cut them at the base rather than pulling them out. This allows them to regenerate.

As in the supermarket, they should be taken home in a paper rather than plastic bag due to their moisture content.  

Full of Flavour

Back in the kitchen you won't need too much culinary expertise to create a satisfying meal out of fungi that are full of nutrients, minerals and vitamins particularly B and D.  So much so that some adherents refer to the humble mushroom as a superfood alongside broccoli. 

Their goodness includes niacin for healthy skin, selenium – an antioxident that protects body cells, and riboflavin to maintain red blood cells. 

With virtually no fat content, they are the dieters' dream ticket to a slim future. 

Even if you have no weight watching aspirations, foraging improves your health and saves you money, and that's something we should all buy into.

Related Articles

RHS Gardening Predictions For 2020

RHS Gardening Predictions For 2020

Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Monday, 30th of December, 2019.

GardenSite supports Langley School in Preperation for Sutton Coldfield In Bloom

GardenSite supports Langley School in Preperation for Sutton Coldfield In Bloom

As the town gets ready for this year’s Sutton Coldfield in Bloom, those on the route are busy preparing to impress the judges. This includes Langley Primary School who are being visited on the 10th of July to assess the Town’s entry into this year’s Heart of England ‘In Bloom’ competition.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Wednesday, 26th of June, 2019.

How To Attract Wildlife To Your Garden

How To Attract Wildlife To Your Garden

In order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our wildlife, there's a selection of habitats and boxes you can purchase that are specifically designed to attract various small animals and insects to your garden. Here we look at some of the products available which also make unusual and very engaging gifts.

Author: Lauren Bilboe

Written by Lauren Bilboe.
Published on Monday, 23rd of April, 2018.

How Can I Help To Save Our Bees?

How Can I Help To Save Our Bees?

Every gardener must have noticed a decline in the bee population over recent years. Intensive farming that demands the use of toxic chemicals, climate change and parasite infestation have all been put forward as potential causes, it's a worrying trend but one that we can all help to reverse.

Author: Lauren Bilboe

Written by Lauren Bilboe.
Published on Thursday, 22nd of March, 2018.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

Martyn Loach

Editor in Chief

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

What To Do In The Garden In July

What To Do In The Garden In July

With such changeable weather recently with a heat wave following by rain, David Coton is looking forward to summer finally arriving and a chance to get out into the garden, here are some of the jobs he'll be tackling during July.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 29th of June, 2018.

Gardening TV Programmes, What's On and When?

Gardening TV Programmes, What's On and When?

There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020 but during the current government restrictions don't be surprised to see repeats filling gaps in a depleted schedule and other programmes adopting a different format..

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden in June

What To Do In The Garden in June

At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our newly re-opened Garden Centre in Birmingham. Plant the bedding out in borders and containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Sunday, 27th of May, 2018.

Garden Centres to Open on Wednesday 13th May 2020

Garden Centres to Open on Wednesday 13th May 2020

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Monday, 11th of May, 2020.