Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hunting The Elusive Mushroom: Part II

The trick to finding your favorite edible mushrooms year after year, is to guard the secret place where you found them with everything you got. Once you have found some, and cut them correctly, they will come back every week or so.

Since we hunt and gather chanterelles for our own consumption, sometimes we like to give some away, if we had a very good hunt. Which of course leads to people asking where we found them. This is where it gets tricky. It is hard to tell if a person is asking out of innocent curiosity, or if they are casually asking in the hopes that we are stupid enough to actually tell you. Once last year, my husband told someone where we had gotten our last haul (I don't know why he did) and lo and behold the following week when we went to pick, it was already picked. Mmmm. I can't really get mad at the person who did this, but it still sucked.

The other thing we have to look out for are the commercial pickers. People who do this for a living. Sometimes we drive around looking for potential new "hunting grounds" and oops, we come across someone else's patch. We try really hard not to poach, but if there is no sign of it being picked lately, it's hard to tell. But if they catch you, it can get ugly. This is there livelihood we are talking about. So we just try not to do that.

Last week, we were followed by a couple of other pickers up in the woods. We were on logging roads, and I didn't want them to know where our spot was. So I drove around aimlessly until they got bored and went there own way. But on a good note, by doing this, we actually found a couple of new places. It was an interesting day to say the least.

Anyway, we finally got last weeks haul cleaned and stored, and I can't wait to check out our other spots this week. Wish us luck.

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