Fungi, Foraging and Underground Life

Found these in a hedge. They might be called ‘Chicken of the Woods’. If that’s true they are edible. Or they could be ‘Aggressive Honeyfungus’ less edible for some of us. If you are hungry and come across something like this, don’t eat them all at once, just try one or two for starters and see how it goes.

Chicken of the Woods or Aggressive Honeyfungus

Fungi, 15,000 species out there in this country and we have to work out what to do about them. Difficult. Like rocket science, quantum physics or deciding what to have for dinner.

Eat them. There is nothing more impressive than watching ‘Someone that knows’ snuffling around. I watched an Italian spot a porcini at 50 paces, Scandinavians going crazy for chanterelles and an Englishman attempting to self destruct with something that wasn’t field mushrooms.

Don’t eat them. There is nothing worse than arguing with an older family member who is eating mushroomy forage that turned green in the pan. They don’t say thank you when you snatch it away and bin it.

Drug yourself. Nothing is more more scary than the result of following an older, yet not wiser, adult into the wild to gather Psilocybin. Psilocybin are reputedly excellent for depression, in micro doses. But don’t eat 50 unless you have a reason for wanting to meet the devil in person.

Let them be. When everything is damp and rotting, nature sends fungi to drag everything down into the great microsphere that is our ecosystem. Down there a whole world is going on that is essential to our very being.

Declare that Fungi are a symbol of the underworld. 15,000 thousand species popping up randomly as food, drugs, poison, magical ecosystem. No wonder we have stories.

We’ve got trolls, fairies, pixies, spirits and all sorts going on.  Children’s heads are filled with of tales mythical beings and we re-enact deeds to prove it. One minute we are fairies buying teeth and the next we are Santa or a Tomte achieving delivery targets that put Amazon to shame. Somewhere along the line the children work out that it was all a pack of lies but who cares when there is an entire underworld to play with. We get movies, theatre and Great Art.

And eventually a whole load of plastic that looks like this.

So that explains the connection between wild mushrooms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Warhammer.

Back to the real world.

Sparky garden tent at night
By night the tent is a sparkly pop up restaurant. Open every weekend for six at a time.

By day it is a sun shelter for poor tired chickens.
There are so many nuts on the lanes that I am starting to wish I had a pet pig.
Chestnuts on the road
On sunny days we take walks and ponder. We are not at the end of this road yet and the whole world really has gone nuts.

Apart from a few places. Congratulations Jacinda.

4 thoughts on “Fungi, Foraging and Underground Life”

  1. made me a bit teary… and want to move to New Zealand, or the 1950’s when everything was better. Or the 2050’s when it all will be better. Of course not around for either of those two dates so its a bit like your fairytales.. in my imagination…

    1. Not in your imagination. We will get our Jacinda in just a few years for sure. We just need to send the rest of them back to the underworld.

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